Epidural shots for neck pain are a non-surgical treatment that can help in providing either short or long term neck pain relief.
When our spinal nerves becomes inflamed because of degenerative conditions that cause nerve compression, it can result in acute or chronic neck pain with numbness and muscle weakness.
Before deciding on a surgical treatment option, doctors may first suggest non-surgical treatment measures to help relieve the pain. And an epidural shot is one of these alternatives.
What Is An Epidural Shot and How Does It Work?
An epidural shot involves injecting an anti-inflammatory medication, which is usually a combination of steroids and anesthetics, into the area where the irritated nerves are located. This area is called the epidural space.
Steroids reduce the nerve irritation by preventing the production of proteins that causes inflammation; the anesthetic on the other hand blocks the nerve, causing a numbing sensation.
Here are the following diagnostic and therapeutic reasons for an epidural injection:
- On a diagnostic note, doctor can usually identify the specific nerve that causes the problem by injecting the medication around the nerve root.
- When administered for a therapeutic reason, a spinal epidural injection gives a short or long term relief. This can break inflammation providing relief for weeks or months.
Epidural Shots Do Not Cure
You should understand that epidural injections are not considered a cure for neck pain and any other spinal compressions. It is simply a method that doctors use to help relieve neck pain.
What To Expect During and After The Procedure
As the medication is injected into the epidural space, you may feel a tingling sensation or pressure. Depending on the extent of the swollen area, you may experience a burning sensation as the medication enters the epidural space. But this discomfort subsides when the injection is finished.
You may feel like there are pricking needles and pins in your extremities. If you feel this, let your doctor know right away.
Due to the numbness and discomfort that this treatment may cause, you can experience difficulty of walking on your own. This is just considered normal and is expected to subside after a few hours. Rest throughout the day and, with your doctor’s approval, go back to your normal life the next day.
Epidural shots usually take effect in the first 48 hours. The effects will last for days, weeks and even months. Everyone has a different response.
How Often Can You Get Epidural Shots?
If the epidural shot for neck pain give you relief for a short period of time, then you can usually have another shot. However, doctors usually limit the number of shots that they give for a period of time, such as three per year.
Doctors believe that repeated injections can help to manage long term pain. However, this treatment is only temporary. Surgery is still the most successful treatment for a permanent solution for neck pain.
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