What Will an Epidural Steroid Injection Feel like and What Should I Expect After?

April 19, 2019 | Injections

An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a mode of treatment used to relieve pain or inflammation on the legs, back, arms, or the neck. The steroids or anti-inflammatory medication is delivered on the epidural space, which is the sac containing the cerebrospinal fluid. Although an ESI could provide the needed relief on its own, it is commonly used alongside other rehabilitative programs.

 

Is an ESI painful?

The procedure is really not painful because a local anesthetic is applied to numb the area. Most people feel little or no difference after being injected. In some instances, the pain could improve or become worse because the steroids take up to three to five days to have the desired effect. You could experience some local tenderness for a few days after an ESI. Using an ice pack three or four times a day helps with the tenderness.

 

What should I do immediately after the injection?

Most doctors recommend you rest and relax for some time after the procedure. If you were sedated during the procedure, avoid driving for at least eight hours. While you might not be able to return to work immediately after the injection, you could return the next day

 

How often can I have ESIs?

The number of injections depends on your body’s response to an individual injection. Some people can feel pain-free for only a week and others up to a year with only one injection. For epidural steroid injections in our New Jersey spine center, an injection series can consist of three injections; however, if you have no pain after the initial injection, you will not need additional treatment.

 

What are the side effects of ESIs?

You may experience minor side effects such as nausea, dizziness, headache, facial flushing, sweating, fevers, itching, and a rash, among others. ESIs are safe, and the probability of a serious complication afterward is low.

 

How long do the effects of an ESI last?

Each person is different, and it is difficult to predict how long the effects of an ESI will last. However, its effects could last for a couple of weeks to a few years.

 

If you are considering relieving your back pain with an epidural steroid injection in New Jersey, contact us at Coastal Spine today!