Epidural Steroid Injections (EDI) and Nerve Blocks
These are procedures that are performed under x-ray fluoroscopy and involves an injection of corticosteroids and/or a numbing agent into the epidural space of the spine or at a targeted nerve root. During an epidural steroid injection, the steroid medicine is delivered next to the painful area to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the irritated nerve. About 50% of patients will notice relief after an epidural injection, although the results tend to be temporary.
Repeat injections may be given to achieve the full effect. During a nerve block procedure the numbing medicine is delivered next to the suspected nerve causing the pain. This provides diagnostic information and can be used to confirm the pain generator while also providing short term relief. The duration of pain relief varies per procedure, with epidural steroid injections lasting for weeks or months. These targeted injections are done in conjunction with a physical therapy and/or home exercise program or maybe requested for diagnostic purposes.