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When Epidural Steroid Injections are the Best Solution for Your Chronic Back Pain

Most Americans experience a bout of back pain at some point in their lives. For many, however, back pain is a chronic issue that diminishes the quality of life

Back pain that lasts more than a few weeks can seriously impact your overall well-being and interfere with the ability to accomplish daily activities. 

At Foothill Pain Management, with two convenient locations in Glendale and the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Christopher J Charbonnet, offers a full spectrum of the most effective therapies to alleviate chronic back pain and restore your mobility. Among these are epidural steroid injections. These tried and true injections deliver several months of relief and are among the preferred treatments for back pain that travels from your back to your legs, arms, or shoulders.

How it works

An epidural steroid injection typically includes an anesthetic or numbing agent that provides very temporary pain relief. The major factor in the injection is the steroid, which reduces inflammation and decreases or eliminates the neck, back, arm, and leg pain caused by compressed or inflamed spinal nerves.

The injection is delivered into the epidural space, which is a fat-filled area that lies between the spine and the protective membrane covering your spinal nerves. Pain relief typically lasts about three months, but many patients experience longer-lasting results.

The injections will not heal underlying conditions that are causing the nerve irritation, such as a herniated or deteriorated disc. Rather, they reduce the inflammation that’s affecting the nerve and causing your pain.

Conditions that might respond to epidural steroid injections

Certain conditions that can irritate the nerves running through your spinal canal and nerve root canal that may respond to epidural steroid injections include:

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal and nerve root canal, which can cause back and leg pain, especially when walking.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a weakness or fracture between the upper and lower facet joints of a vertebra that may cause it to slip forward and compress nerve roots, which causes pain.

Herniated disc

A herniated disc causes pain when the gel-like material contained within an intervertebral disc bulges or ruptures through a weak area in the disc wall and presses against a spinal nerve.

Degenerative disc

A degenerative disc comes from aging or deterioration of an intervertebral disc, which can lead to collapse of the disc space.

Sciatica

Sciatica is caused by pain that travels along the sciatic nerve in the buttocks and down the legs, usually related to compression of the fifth lumbar or first sacral spinal nerve.

The right time for an epidural steroid injection

Dr. Charbonnet may suggest the timing is right for an epidural steroid injection when:

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Charbonnet at either the Glendale or Boyle Heights office for an evaluation and learn whether epidural steroid injections can help alleviate your back pain. Call or use our convenient online booking feature.

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