An “epidural” is the term used to describe a procedure to numb your back or block the nerves that cause pain, and it often correlates with childbirth labor. The procedure, however, has found its way into pain management as a tool for lower back pain.
While “epidural” is the commonly used word for the treatment, in reality, your epidural is the space that surrounds and protects your spinal cord. The epidural area is made up of fat and blood vessels that encompass your delicate dural sac, which contains your spinal cord and your nerves.
An epidural injection delivers a one-two punch: the injection contains ingredients that numb your pain and tackle inflammation.
After an extensive examination to locate the source of the nerve irritation, Dr. Bertram targets that area with an injection that contains a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, as well as cortisone, which is a steroid. Dr. Bertram may also add saline to the mix to flush out anything that may be causing the inflammation.
More often than not, back pain involves nerves that have been compressed or irritated, which can happen for several reasons, such as:
Anytime a nerve is affected, an epidural injection works to calm the nerve and treat the underlying inflammation.
Performed by a specialist in pain management, such as Dr. Bertram, epidural injections are considered to be safe. You may experience some increased pain as the injection goes to work, but this resolves itself quickly.
Dr. Bertram can treat most patients with epidural injections, except those who have the following conditions:
It’s also important to note that an epidural injection provides temporary relief and isn’t considered a permanent solution. If the injections facilitate significant improvement, you’ll return periodically for subsequent injections to maintain the results.
If you’re experiencing back pain, call Martin Bertram, MD, to find out if an epidural injection may help. Or use the online booking tool to schedule a visit.
At Martin Bertram, MD, we accept several insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.