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Epidural injection for chronic pain relief

An epidural injection includes local anaesthetic and steroid treatment. It provides chronic pain relief and reduces inflammation in your neck, back, arm and leg.

What is an epidural injection for chronic pain relief?

An epidural injection for chronic pain relief is an outpatient procedure. It treats common causes of back problems including injuries, osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, herniated disc and spinal stenosis. These compress your spinal nerves and cause back pain that may extend to the other parts of your body such as your neck and legs.

It only takes 15 to 30 minutes. Using an X-ray guided needle, local anaesthetic and steroid are injected into the epidural space of your spine of the affected area. They help reduce inflammation and pain from the irritated nerve and to restore movement and function.

How long does an epidural last for chronic pain?

The extent of pain relief and how long it lasts varies from person to person. An epidural injection can reduce chronic pain for up to three months. The injection is usually given in conjunction with physiotherapy as part of a holistic back pain treatment. The epidural reduces your pain symptoms so that physiotherapy is more manageable and effective.

What is the recovery time for epidural steroid injection?

You may resume all of your normal daily activities 24 hours after your injection. Your back pain should get better within ten days of the epidural injection.

How many epidural steroid injections are safe in a lifetime?

It is thought that you can safely have epidurals throughout your lifetime for short-term pain management caused by a herniated disc or other spinal condition or injury. However, an epidural steroid injection does not repair the damage that is causing your pain. This means that pain is likely to keep reoccurring once the effects of the steroid wear off.

Physiotherapy may be recommended alongside your steroid injections to help strengthen the muscles that support your spine and reduce pressure on your spinal column. Physiotherapy exercises are often easier with reduced inflammation and pain after these injections.

Surgeons will often recommend surgery for a longer-term treatment.

Usually, surgeons limit epidural steroid injections to just a few a year. This is because of possible side effects of the steroid including weakening of your spinal bones and nearby muscles.

What is the recovery process after an epidural steroid injection?

Most people feel completely normal after an epidural steroid injection and go home shortly afterwards.

However, you should arrange for somebody to drive you home and ideally stay with you overnight.

The anaesthetic will numb the injected area for the first day. After this, the pain may get worse before the steroids start to take effect. It may take three to seven days for the steroids to start working and reach their optimal effect. You can take painkillers to keep you comfortable during this time.

It is advisable to stay off work and take it easy for 24 hours.

What is the cost of an epidural steroid injections

The cost of an epidural steroid injection will depend on: the exact steroid drugs and anaesthetic; the reason and area for your procedure; and your Ramsay hospital of choice.

You will receive a formal quotation price for your steroid injection, after your consultation with one of our expert surgeons. This formal quote will be valid for 60 days. You can rest-assured that it includes unlimited aftercare.

We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your injection yourself. These include:

  • Interest-free finance - no deposit required and monthly instalments at 0% interest.
  • All-inclusive Total Care - a one-off payment at a pre-agreed price that covers all the treatment you need. Our Total care packages include your operating drugs.
  • Pay as you go – a flexible funding option if your treatment costs are difficult to assess or you want to pay for your treatment costs as and when they arise.

     

Epidural steroid injections are generally covered by health insurance if medically recommended. You should obtain written confirmation from your insurance provider before starting your treatment.

Epidural steroid injections at Ramsay Health Care

Ramsay Health Care offers fast access to consultant appointments and diagnostics to assess your back, legs and neck pain. Our pain management specialists are highly skilled and frequently perform epidural steroid injections. They will provide you with the very best and safest care to relieve your pain.

Our hospitals are conveniently located and most have on-site parking.

We have practised and proficient physiotherapists on hand who can advise on exercises to improve your strength, spinal mobility, and stability whilst you have the effects of the steroid.

All of our hospitals have strict protocols in place that minimise the risk of infection, including Covid-19, for our patients and healthcare professionals.  

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