What Is a Steroid Injection and How Should You Prepare for the Procedure

One of the most effective treatments for back pain is an injection of steroids directly into the area that is the cause of your pain. Whether you’ve injured yourself or have been struggling with a degenerative process, the goal of steroid injection is to deliver medications to the affected area so that they can reduce inflammation and give your body the opportunity to heal.

Most back pain is a matter of pressure being put on the spinal nerves by a disc or other structure that is out of place, and when it is suspected that the offending body is the result of inflammation, the steroid medication can ease that swelling and lead to significant relief of your pain. In most cases, an epidural spinal injection is injected into a joint or the area surrounding a joint.

At our New Jersey lumbar spine specialty practice, the first step in making the decision to administer a steroid injection is to diagnose your problem and identify the exact area from which pain is originating.  Our conservative approach means that we may suggest exercise, massage, physical therapy, and medications before taking the next step to offering an injection of steroid medication into the epidural space.

Many people find the idea of an injection into their spine unnerving, but epidural injections are performed using radiological guidance that ensures that our lumbar spine specialist is provided with real-time images of the body’s internal structures. Using ultrasound or fluoroscopy, we are able to view the needle as it enters the body all the way to when it approaches and enters the site where the medication delivery is needed. The process is extremely accurate and designed to provide the best chance of effectiveness and pain relief.

The Procedure

If you are scheduled for an epidural spine injection, it is important that you follow the instructions provided to you by your physician. Do not eat or drink for at least eight hours before the time that your procedure is scheduled. Ask your physician about any medications that you take on a regular basis.

When you arrive at our location, you will be brought into a treatment room and shown to a table where you will lay on your stomach. A local anesthetic will be applied to the area where the injection will take place, and the physician will use whichever radiologic procedure is best suited to your condition to provide the best accuracy for the precise delivery of the medication.

Though it is understandable to be nervous about the procedure, it is completed within five to ten minutes, followed by fifteen to twenty minutes of recovery time. After you have rested, you will be free to return home. Most people get at least two injections, but everybody responds differently.

Our New Jersey lumbar spine specialist will closely monitor your condition and provide you with personal advice as to how many injections you should have, and at what interval.

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