About Epidural Injection
An epidural injection is given to relieve sciatica—low back pain running up to the calf. The procedure is relatively minor, and in most cases, the patient can go back home the same day and resume normal activity in 2-3 day’s time. According to healthcare professionals, usually there are usually few (if any) known side effects associated with an epidural injection.
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Epidural injection for Healthcare of the Back
Just below the skin there exists an extensive network of nerves that carry information throughout the body. Below the skin of the back, these nerves merge near the backbone to form a thick cord, known as the spinal cord. The spinal cord is covered by dura, and it runs through the hollow parts of the vertebrae in the back. At times, the disc between the two lower vertebrae presses against the nerve endings rising from the back of the thigh. Consequently, pain radiates down from the lower back to the thigh, calf, and foot. This is sometimes referred to as sciatica, and an epidural injection is often used to treat this condition. In certain cases, the radiating pain might be the result of a herniated disc, but this diagnosis requires extensive testing.
Procedure of Epidural injection
The epidural injection procedure involves injecting the patient with a mixture of two drugs—an anesthetic and a steroid. Legs turn numb for a few hours after the injection. Also, the injection might make the flow of urine difficult for a few hours. However, if passing urine is not possible even six hours after the operation, the patient must consult a doctor immediately. Most healthcare professionals cover the injection site with an adhesive that can be removed after a day. After two-to-three weeks, the second drug, a steroid, starts taking effect. Although a majority of the patients are permanently cured by epidural injection, for some the pain persists. This simple procedure is relatively free from complications, and infections are rare.