Epidural Steroid Injections

Have you been experiencing excruciating pain? Do you want relief but are worried that you will need surgery? If you find yourself in this situation, take comfort in knowing that there is another option.

At Cayman Neurology, located at 508 West Bay Road, Cayman Islands, we have helped many find pain relief using epidural steroid injections. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more!

Why Therapeutic Procedures Are Important

Cayman Neurology and Pain Management provides a comprehensive array of therapeutic procedures to address various pain-related issues. These include epidural steroid injections for conditions like herniated discs and spinal stenosis, facet joints blocks to alleviate facet joint pain, and radio-frequency facet joint ablations for long-lasting relief.

These kinds of therapeutic procedures offer effective options for individuals seeking relief from specific pain conditions.

What Is an Epidural Steroid Injection?

An epidural steroid injection (also known as an ESI) is a minimally invasive therapeutic procedure in which anti-inflammatory medicine is used to treat pain in your neck, legs, arms, and lower back.

Several nerves travel down narrow passageways along your spinal cord. If these passageways become compressed, pressure will be put on your spinal nerves, resulting in pain.

The epidural space is the area around your spine that cushions your nerves and spinal cord. Steroids are placed in the epidural space to reduce inflammation of your spinal nerves. It is important to note that this process addresses your symptoms rather than the root cause of your nerve pain.

The ESI provides pain relief because it reduces the pain caused by the inflammation and irritation of your spinal nerve roots.

What Is the Most Common ESI?

Lumbar epidural steroid injections are the most common ESIs. If you are experiencing lower back and/or leg pain, a lumbar epidural steroid injection may be recommended. The goal of lumbar epidural steroid injections is to provide pain relief so that you can begin or continue physical therapy and/or reduce the need for surgery.

Are Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections Painful?

You may feel a slight pinch when your specialist numbs the area before your lumbar epidural steroid injection. However, during your lumbar epidural steroid injection, you may not feel anything, or you may experience the following:

  • Tingling
  • Pressure
  • A burning sensation
  • Temporary pain

Would I Make a Good Candidate For an Epidural Injection?

You may be a good candidate for an ESI if you suffer from chronic back pain. You may also make a good candidate if you have the following conditions:

  • Herniated disc
  • Bone spurs
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Failed back syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Injury
  • Cyst
  • Curvature of the spine

Who Performs ESIs?

Performing the injections is a very detailed and technique-sensitive process requiring significant specialized training. Medical professionals who can perform ESIs include:

  • Neurologists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Surgeons
  • Radiologists
  • Physiatrists

What Happens Before an ESI?

Before an ESI, your doctor will thoroughly review your medical history. You will also be asked about any medications you may be taking, and adjustments will be made if needed. This is particularly the case with those taking blood thinners.

Your specialist may also recommend an MRI scan or a CT scan to determine the exact area that needs to be treated.

How Are ESIs Performed?

All ESI procedures use a needle to deliver steroids into the epidural space. However, the exact method used will depend on your specific medical situation and your doctor’s recommendation. Here is a list of the general steps involved in administering an ESI:

  1. Your doctor will use an x-ray to guide the needle into the correct position. A dye (contrast material) is injected into the area to verify that the needle is in the correct position. This dye helps to ensure that the medication will reach the targeted inflamed nerves.
  2. Once the placement has been verified, the steroid will be injected into the area around your spinal cord.
  3. Finally, after the medication has been administered, the needle will be removed.

If your medical condition allows for it, you may be able to choose to have the procedure done under sedation with a local anesthetic.

What Happens After an ESI?

After at ESI procedure, you will be monitored for a short time before being allowed to leave.

It is normal for it to take between one and three days to feel relief. You may be advised to minimize your activity level for that day. Generally, most can return to their normal activity level the next day.

The Results After Having an ESI

Like many, you may experience some pain relief. However, if you feel that this procedure has only brought you mild relief, your doctor may schedule 1 or 2 more injections. While the results may vary due to the underlying condition, the relief you experience coupled with physical therapy can last for weeks or even years.

The Risks and Side Effects of an ESI

While ESIs are usually safe, as is the case with most procedures, there can be some risks. Although rare, risks and complications that apply to ESI injections may include:

  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction
  • Nerve damage


It is important to keep in mind that having epidural injections too often or receiving higher doses of steroid medication can weaken the bones in your spine and/or its nearby muscles.

While rare, the side effects of an ESI can include:

  • Feeling faint
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling bloated

While an epidural steroid injection procedure is not a cure for back pain, it can often provide significant relief if you are suffering from chronic back pain. Schedule an appointment with one of our experts at Cayman Neurology located in the Cayman Islands today to learn more about what we can do to help!

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