Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection


The lumbar epidural steroid injections serve a dual purpose, one is to treat the cause of back pain and the other is to diagnose where that pain originates. Pressure on the lumbar nerves, which travel from the back into the buttocks and legs, often results in leg pain. Disc degeneration, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis are the most common culprits of this type of pain. These injections are formulated with a local anesthetic to address pain during the injection as well as a steroid that results in longer-lasting relief.


During the procedure, the patient lies either on their stomach or on their side. A local anesthetic will be injected into the lower back numbing the area and reducing the pain of the procedure. Next, The Spine & Pain Center physician will use a fluoroscope to reduce the opportunity for error as they guide the needle into the exact location in the epidural space.

After determining the correct position, the injection is administered. It isn’t painful but the patient may feel some pressure during the procedure depending upon the amount of medication injected. Finally, the needle is removed and the injection site is bandaged. There will be a brief time of recovery at the office following the procedure but the patient will be released to go home within a few minutes.

After Care

Following the injection, patients should rest and use ice on the injection site to minimize tenderness and swelling. Most patients resume normal activity the following day unless otherwise directed by their physician. When these injections are used therapeutically, patients should experience pain relief for several months to a year. For increased efficacy, injections may be repeated when the steroid’s effectiveness begins to diminish. For some patients, physicians will use this therapy to diagnose a variety of conditions. When this is the case, a follow-up appointment will be necessary to discuss further treatment options.