Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

Lumbar epidural steroid injection is a treatment for managing chronic spinal pain. It delivers a steroid to the site of pathology, usually onto an inflamed nerve root in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine. A pain doctor injects the long-acting steroid into the foramen, the opening at the side of the spine where a nerve root exits. When nerves are compressed by ruptured discs, spine abnormalities, or spinal canal narrowing, they become pinched and inflamed. Occasionally this pain will radiate to the legs or feet. The inflammation in the spinal nerves can be relieved by placing steroid and numbing medicine (local anesthetic) right next to these nerves in the epidural space. A single injection may relieve the pain, but most patients require up to three injections to be more effective.

Treating pain effectively requires comprehensive and specialized care. The physicians and staff of the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine offer the latest in pain management techniques, backed by the expertise, knowledge, and research of one of the country‚Äôs largest academic medical centers. In both the hospital and the clinic, the needs of each patient are carefully considered, and we design each treatment plan to provide the best possible results.

We understand that relief from pain is critical to recovery. Our approach combines compassionate care with image-guided procedures, physical therapy, psychological assistance, medication, and ongoing consults with your primary care physicians. Our program puts less emphasis on opioid medications and tries to help patients improve their enjoyment of life by focusing on daily exercise, better nutrition, and stress reduction through cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques.

Our innovative physicians and researchers continue to advance the field of pain management with studies that explore new therapies and treatment approaches, which may give patients access to treatments not yet available at most medical centers. We work closely with the departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Orthopaedics, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Palliative Care to provide complete care for our patients.

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