Pain Physicians of Indiana
Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Merrillville, IN
Epidural injections can provide much-needed relief from your chronic pain. Highly qualified physician Tarek H. Shahbandar, MD, has extensive experience performing epidural injections to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain at the Pain Physicians of Indiana, P.C., in Merrillville, Indiana. Don’t just put up with your persistent pain when there are innovative and valuable treatment options. Call the Pain Physicians of Indiana, P.C., office or use the online scheduler.
Epidural Injection Q & A
What are epidural injections?
An epidural injection is an injection of a specific medication into the space around your spinal cord (the epidural space) to provide temporary or prolonged relief from inflammation or pain in the spine or extremities.
Dr. Tarek Shahbandar instructs you on how to prepare for your epidural injection. You should leave your jewelry at home and wear loose and comfortable clothing. You might be asked to wear a gown.
How do epidural injections work?
The epidural space is the outermost part of your spinal canal. Using an epidural injection, Dr. Shahbandar can typically deliver steroids, anesthetics, and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain in and around your spinal nerve roots and any damaged nerves.
An epidural injection is typically an outpatient procedure that can be performed in the office. Dr. Shahbandar might use imaging guidance, such as fluoroscopy, to place the needle in the right location for maximum benefit. In more rare cases, you might need an IV in your arm to deliver a relaxation medication for the procedure.
You lie down on your stomach or side on a table, and Dr. Shahbandar identifies where to place the injection before cleaning and sterilizing your skin with an antiseptic solution. He typically injects a local anesthetic to help numb the area.
When the needle is properly in place, Dr. Shahbandar might inject a contrast material to accurately target the nerves for sufficient distribution of the medication. Next, he slowly injects the epidural medication — usually a combination of an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid medicine and anesthetic. The medication moves throughout your epidural space and coats the inflamed or irritated nerve roots.
You might feel a mild tingling or pressure when the injection is administered, or a mild discomfort as the medication enters the epidural space, but this is tolerable and soon subsides.
After your epidural injection is complete, you’re moved into a chair or bed to rest for a few minutes to an hour before Dr. Shahbandar says it’s safe for you to leave.
Why should I choose epidural injections?
You might choose an epidural injection to relieve pain caused by:
- A bulging or herniated disc that impinges your nerves
- Spinal stenosis
- Other injuries to your vertebrae, spinal nerves, and surrounding tissues
- Bone spurs
Epidural injections can provide pain relief for varying amounts of time — from days or weeks to several months. In some cases, a series of multiple injections might be necessary before you can experience significant pain relief.
If you’re interested in finding out how epidural injections can relieve your pain, call the Pain Physicians of Indiana, P.C., office or book an appointment online today.