Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

The lumbar spine refers to the lower back, where the spine curves inward toward the abdomen. It starts about five or six inches below the shoulder blades.

The lower a vertebra in the spinal column, the more weight it must bear. The five vertebrae of the lumbar spine are L1, L2, L3, L4, L5 and are the biggest unfused vertebrae in the spinal column, enabling them to support the weight of the entire torso.

Lumbar Epidural Steroids 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 enough to relieve pain, epidural steroid injections are an added effective next step in treatment.

How do Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections Work?

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. Epidural injections can be used to treat other problems such as sciatica, spinal stenosis, cervicogenic headache, failed back surgery syndrome and pinched nerves among other problems.

Note from the Doctor

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections reduce inflammation, swelling and irritation of the nerves, thereby providing pain relief. Epidural steroids are simple and safe.


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