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Epidural for Pain Relief

This page provides detail about epidural injections; if you need further advice please consult your doctor.

What is it all about?

Epidural injections are prescribed to relieve chronic back pain. The injection shoots anaesthetic and possibly steroids into the space known as the epidural, next to your spine. The injection is designed to reduce pain by numbing the nerves with steroids, reducing inflammation. This often helps the resulting reduced pain to last longer.

Identifying your epidural injection

The location of your back pain dictates the area for the injection.


Figure 1
Different types of epidural injection

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Improving your back pain

The benefits of an epidural injection include reduced back pain, albeit for a limited amount of time. You will find your mobility increases, too.

How does it work?

The epidural injection transfers the anaesthetic into the epidural space via a needle. The injection is given by a doctor and the needle is removed once the anaesthetic is released. The whole procedure takes no more than half an hour, often only 15 minutes.

Possible side effects

  • Back pain can worsen
  • No effect at all
  • Blood pressure lowers
  • An infection of the spine
  • Nerve damage
  • Backache
  • Headaches
  • A feeling of weakness in the limbs
  • Problems going to the toilet
  • Unexpected high block
  • Blood clot in the vicinity of the spine
  • Seizure

In summary

Suitable for most sufferers of back pain, an epidural injection offers effective short-term relief with few problems.

References: 

EIDO Healthcare Limited - The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare. 

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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