Caudal Steroid Injections for Lower Back Pain Relief
One of the most common reasons why patients seek the help of a physician is back pain. Specifically, lower back pain is nearly universal, as around four out of every five adults are going to face lower back pain at some point. Most of this pain will go away with time, but around 20 percent of lower back pain ends up becoming chronic.
While there are numerous treatment options including physical therapy, massage, and prescription medications, caudal steroid injections are an effective treatment option for many people who suffer from lower back pain. For those who are interested in this treatment method, there are a few important points to remember.
What Is a Caudal Steroid Injection?
Also called a caudal epidural steroid injection, this treatment method targets the caudal area of the back that is located at the end of the tailbone. This area is targeted because nerves in this location extend, branch, and provide both motor and sensory signals for the lower back and legs.
When someone receives a caudal steroid injection, they are receiving a combination of both steroid medication and local anesthetic. These two medications work together to treat pain that is present in the lower back and legs. The job of the steroid is to reduce inflammation, swelling, and irritation. The anesthetic is going to numb the pain signals that are sent to the brain. As the medicine spreads throughout the injection site, patients are going to feel better.
A caudal steroid injection is delivered between the dura and vertebrae, just inside the lining of the spine. This is a safe procedure that many physicians perform on a regular basis.
What Conditions Is a Caudal Steroid Injection Used to Treat?
There are several conditions that can be treated with a caudal steroid injection. In general, pain that starts in the caudal area of the spine will start in the lower back and radiate to the lower extremities. Many patients describe this as a pins and needles sensation while others describe this pain as a shock-like sensation. Some of the conditions that can be treated using a caudal steroid injection include:
A Herniated Disc
Also called a bulging disc or a slipped disc, these discs are used to cushion the vertebrae and prevent them from rubbing against each other, leading to pain. These discs are filled with a liquid that gives them some flexibility. Sometimes, these discs end up rupturing. The liquid inside can coat the nerves in the vicinity, leading to pain that shoots down the legs. A caudal steroid injection can help patients manage the pain associated with this condition.
Another condition from which people might suffer is called spinal stenosis. With this condition, the canal through which the spinal cord travels will start to narrow. This can cause impingement of the nerves in the spinal cord, leading to pain, numbness, and tingling. A caudal steroid injection can be an effective treatment option.
Degenerative Disc Disease
This is a chronic medical condition that is marked by the degeneration of one or more discs in the back. This can cause people to have chronic back and leg pain along with difficulty walking. Many patients with this condition find a caudal steroid injection helpful.
How Is This Procedure Performed?
When someone shows up on the day of a caudal steroid injection, this is a procedure that is going to take around 15 minutes total. First, the patient is going to lay face-down on a table. The doctor is going to clean the area thoroughly to minimize the risk of a skin injection developing. Some patients may receive an IV medication to relax them.
Then, the doctor is going to use imaging to guide him or her into the caudal space. Dye will be released to ensure the needle is positioned correctly. Then, the doctor will release the steroid injection. Some of the possible side effects include bleeding, infection, and an allergic reaction; however, these are extremely rare. Most patients feel immediate relief after the procedure is finished.
Contact Us Today!
These are several treatment options that we provide to patients who come to see us. At MidSouth Pain, we place the needs of our patients first. We know that your back pain is impacting your quality of life, which is why we will do everything we can to help you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!