Epidural Injections for Sciatica
- Posted on: Feb 28 2019
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates out along the path of the sciatic nerve. This nerve branches from your lumbar spine (lower back) and runs downward through your hips and buttocks and then down into each leg. Sciatica usually affects just one side.
At DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, we often use epidural injections to treat the inflammation and pain of sciatica.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched or compressed. This is usually caused by a herniated disc that has ruptured and is pushing outward onto the sciatic nerve roots exiting the spinal column in that area. It can also be due to a bone spur on the adjacent vertebra, usually a result of degenerative disc disease.
Who is more at risk to develop sciatica?
Certain conditions make a person more prone to develop sciatica:
- Obesity — The excess weight an obese person is carrying places extra stress on the spine.
- Age — As we age and our discs and vertebra deteriorate, we’re more prone to developing sciatica.
- Prolonged sitting — Sedentary people and those who must sit long periods for their work are at greater risk.
- Diabetes — The poor management of blood sugar with diabetes can lead to nerve damage and sciatica.
At DFW epidural steroid injections are a common treatment option. The goal of the injection is pain relief, but it can also act as a facilitator of other rehabilitation, providing relief from the pain that is precluding stretching and other exercise.
We inject the steroid medication directly into the epidural space in the spine. This space encircles the dural sac and is filled with fat and small blood vessels. The dural sac surrounds the spinal cord, nerve roots, and cerebrospinal fluid. These injections inhibit the inflammatory response caused by chemical and mechanical sources of pain. They also calm the body’s immune response to the inflammation
These injections usually consist of three elements: the steroid, Lidocaine, and saline.
- Steroid — Corticosteroids act as anti-inflammatory agents, as inflammation is a common component of many low back conditions, including sciatica.
- Lidocaine — This fast-acting local anesthetic provides instant temporary pain relief.
- Saline — Sterile saline solution is used to dilute the local anesthetic and to dilute the chemicals or other agents that are promoting inflammation.
Do you have pain radiating down through your buttocks and into one of your legs? That could be sciatica. Please call the experts at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, (817) 916-4685, and let us help.
Posted in: Sciatica