Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection
What are Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections?
The cervical spine begins at the base of the skull. Seven vertebrae make up the cervical spine with eight pairs of cervical nerves. The individual cervical vertebrae are abbreviated C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6 and C7. The cervical nerves are also abbreviated; C1 through C8.
Cervical Epidural steroid injections have been safely and effectively used in the treatment of chronic neck and back pain for the last 40 years. Back and neck pain are usually treated conservatively with bed rest, physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and rehab exercises. In acute cases, a majority of patients will improve on this regimen.
When conservative therapy alone is not providing pain relief, epidural steroid injections are an added effective next step in treatment.
Epidural steroid injections work by several mechanisms. They break the cycle of pain, followed by muscle spasm, followed by more pain which occurs in this disease. Pain relief afforded by epidural steroids may allow a larger and more pain free range of motion. This increases the effectiveness of physical therapy in preserving muscle strength and range of motion.
Epidural steroids are effective in the treatment of discogenic pain (bulging or herniated discs) in the back and in the neck. They reduce inflammation, swelling and irritation of the nerves, thereby providing pain relief. Epidural steroids are simple and safe.
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