What to Expect after an Epidural Steroid Injection

After You Leave Your Appointment

Epidural steroid injections have been in use for decades as a pain management tool. Although you may associate the word “epidural” with women in labor, epidural injections are actually given in many cases of chronic back and neck pain as well. One of the reasons these injections are so popular is because negative side effects are rare and–when they do occur–are typically very mild.

Because your injection site may be tender, it’s a good idea to ask someone to drive you home from the doctor’s office. Take it easy the rest of the day to give your body a chance to heal. Your doctor will advise you on how to keep the injection site clean (which reduces the risk of infection) and give you any other necessary instructions. He or she will also tell you how soon you can resume normal activities. Most people report feeling relief 1 to 3 days after their epidural injection and can resume their regular routine around the same time.

Side Effects

You’ll be monitored by your pain management specialist immediately after the procedure to make sure there are no severe reactions. The injection area may be tender for a few days, and you may experience other mild symptoms such as fever or insomnia. Talk to a doctor if your symptoms are severe or don’t go away after a few days.

How Long Will It Last?

How long the epidural injection will reduce your pain depends on the extent of your injury. Also, every person is different and some people respond differently to the injection than others. Even the best pain management doctors in Joplin can’t guarantee how long the effects will last, but they should be able to give you an estimate based on the cause of your pain. Some people will experience relief for a few weeks, while others may not need another treatment for months.

Next Steps

Steroid injections are often used by the best pain management doctors in Joplin as a means of managing pain until the source of pain can be corrected. For example, you may only need them until you finish a course of physical therapy or until an injury fully heals. In other cases, epidural steroid injections can be used to identify an unknown source of pain. Once it’s narrowed down, your doctor can use this information to develop a treatment plan to address the issue.

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