Lumbar Spine Injections Can Help You Manage Your Sciatica in Houston, TX
Lumbar spine injections, or epidural steroid injections, are a common treatment option for many forms of lower back and leg pain. For instance, injections can play an integral role in the nonsurgical management of sciatica. An epidural can also help a patient get through an acute episode of back or leg pain, sometimes providing enough relief to allow for comfortable participation in a rehabilitation stretching and exercise program. This is significant because physical activity can increase blood circulation, promote healing and enhance the benefits of spinal injections.
How do spinal injections relieve pain?
Lumbar spine injections can deliver a powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into (or very near) a source of pain in the lower back. When administering epidural injections, many physicians utilize fluoroscopic guidance (real-time X-ray imaging) to help ensure the precise placement of the medication for maximum relief.
Lower back and leg pain are often caused by chemical inflammation. In addition to reducing inflammation, an epidural steroid injection can provide a further benefit in that it can help “flush away” inflammatory chemicals and proteins that are contributing to the pain.
While the effects of lumbar spine injections can be lasting, they are also temporary, typically providing pain relief that lasts for one week up to one year. If an initial injection is effective, a physician may recommend a second injection after the effects of the first wear off (up to three injections can be safely administered in a one-year period).
Do injections offer any advantages over oral medications?
Oral steroids and pain medications can also relieve lower back and leg pain. However, as compared to injections, the impact of these treatments is less focused and more dispersed throughout the body. Oral medications are also more likely to produce unpleasant side effects, such as drowsiness, constipation and immunosuppression. Additionally, opioid pain relievers must be used judiciously because they are highly addictive.
If you’d like to find out if lumbar spine injections are right for you, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, to schedule an appointment with a spine specialist. For the convenience of our patients, we’ve established several office locations throughout Houston, Texas, area.