What To Expect After Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection: Side Effects, and Recovery
If you’re thinking about what to expect after lumbar epidural steroid injection? This article will provide a comprehensive guide to help you understand the post-injection experience, including potential side effects, the best sleeping positions, and how long you should rest to ensure a smooth recovery.
Understanding Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections
An anti-inflammatory medication called lumbar epidural steroid injections is used to treat persistent lower back pain caused by inflammation of the spinal nerve roots. This pain is called lumbar radiculopathy, also known as sciatica, and extends from the lower back to the hips, legs, and feet. Look no further than Dr Abbasi North Brunswick NJ, if you’re seeking one of the herniated disc specialists in New Jersey.
Causes of Lumbar Radiculopathy
The disorder known as lumbar radiculopathy, or sciatica, is brought on by compression or irritation of the spinal nerves in the lumbar area. Numerous underlying factors may contribute to the pinching or inflammation of the nerve roots, resulting in this illness. Here are some of the primary causes:
Herniated Disc (Disc Herniation): One of the leading causes of lumbar radiculopathy is a herniated disc. The neighboring nerve roots may be compressed by a rupture or bulging in the intervertebral discs that separate the vertebrae. Radiating discomfort, numbness, or paralysis in the legs, buttocks, and lower back may result from this pressure.
Spinal Stenosis: A disorder called spinal stenosis causes the spinal canal to narrow and squeeze the spinal nerves. Lumbar spinal stenosis can result from age-related degeneration or other factors, causing pain and discomfort that radiates down the legs.
Degenerative Disc Disease: The lumbar spine’s discs will gradually deteriorate with age. This degeneration may lead to the narrowing of the space between vertebrae, causing nerve compression and resulting in lumbar radiculopathy. Contact us and get the best doctor for a herniated disc.
Injury or Trauma: A sudden injury or trauma to the lumbar spine, such as a car accident, fall, or sports injury, can lead to lumbar radiculopathy by causing direct damage to the nerves or surrounding structures.
Arthritis and Inflammatory Conditions: Inflammatory conditions like ankylosing spondylitis or rheumatoid arthritis can lead to inflammation and pain in the lumbar spine, potentially impacting the nerves and causing radiculopathy. Here are some ways to quickly reduce swelling in the knee, that are worth adding to your Knee Journal. It’s important to note that lumbar radiculopathy can manifest with various symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the lower back, buttocks, and legs. Early diagnosis and intervention are key to managing lumbar radiculopathy effectively and preventing its progression.
How a Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection Works
Your healthcare provider may recommend what to expect after lumbar epidural steroid injection to manage your chronic pain. It involves the injection of a combination of local anesthetic and corticosteroid medication directly into the epidural space in the lumbar region of the spine.
This region consists of five vertebrae, which are the largest ones in the spine. They extend from the lower thoracic spine (chest) to the sacrum (bottom of the spine). The vertebrae is made up of 33 separate interlocking bones. These bones form the spinal column, and their function is to protect the spinal cord from injury. Furthermore, they allow flexibility so that a person can twist and turn. The vertebral bones are further cushioned by disks.
Epidural Steroid Injection Side Effects
Following any medical procedure, side effects are inevitable, and lumbar epidural steroid injections are no exception. It’s important to be aware of these possible side effects so that you can identify more significant issues from less serious ones if they do arise. Apart from his specialized approach, Dr. Abbasi has a deep understanding of pain management doctors New Jersey. Following are the epidural steroid injection side effects you can expect:
Immediate Post-injection Side Effects
Localized Pain: After the procedure, it’s common to feel some slight pain or discomfort at the injection site. Usually, this soreness goes away after a few hours.
Temporary Numbness: You might notice temporary numbness in the lower back and legs due to the local anesthetic. This sensation should wear off as the medication dissipates.
Flushing and Warmth: Some patients report a sensation of warmth or flushing in the face and chest. This is usually short-lived and nothing to be concerned about.
Slight Headache: A mild headache might occur but should resolve within a day.
Potential Delayed Side Effects
Increased Pain: While the injection is intended to alleviate pain, some patients may experience increased discomfort in the days following the procedure. This is a temporary side effect and should diminish within a week.
Facial Flushing and Mood Swings: Some individuals may experience facial flushing, mood swings, or difficulty sleeping due to the corticosteroid medication. Most of the time, these side effects are minor and transient.
Temporary Blood Sugar Elevation: If you have diabetes, the corticosteroid may cause a brief rise in blood sugar levels. Be sure to monitor your levels and consult your healthcare provider if needed.
Infection or Allergic Reaction: The injection site has a small but possible risk of infection or adverse response. In case you notice any prolonged discomfort, swelling, or increasing redness at the location, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your healthcare professional. However, a question that often arises is, How long should you wear a knee brace in a day?
Best Position to Sleep After Epidural Steroid Injection
Rest and sleep are essential for a smooth recovery after a lumbar epidural steroid injection. Choosing the appropriate sleeping position can have a big impact on how comfortable you are in the early stages of recuperation.
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Sleeping on Your Back
The best position to sleep after an epidural steroid injection is on your back. This position minimizes pressure on the injection site and provides optimal support to your spine. Follow these tips for sleeping on your back:
- To keep your spine in the correct posture, place a supporting cushion beneath your head.
- To ease the tension on your lower back, place a small cushion or rolled-up towel beneath your knees. Our knee pain specialists in New Jerseyensure they carry out personalized treatment that benefits you and aligns with your unique pain management needs.
- To enhance comfort, maintain a straight posture or a slight bend in your knees.
Sleeping on Your Side
If you’re accustomed to sleeping on your side, you can continue to do so with slight modifications to ensure comfort and support:
- To keep your spine in the correct posture and relieve strain on your lower back, place a cushion between your knees.
- Ensure your head is well-supported with a comfortable pillow.
Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach.
Sleeping on your stomach may cause discomfort because it places undue strain on your lower back. It’s best to avoid this position during the initial recovery period. Check our blog on, can a swollen knee be dangerous?
Remember that personal comfort and preferences may vary, so adapt your sleeping position as needed to minimize discomfort and promote a restful night’s sleep.
How Long Should You Rest After Epidural Steroid Injection?
Recovery time following a lumbar epidural steroid injection can vary from person to person. The amount of rest you need largely depends on your individual response to the procedure, the presence of side effects, and your overall health. For your post-injection recovery planning, consider the following general guidelines:
Immediate post-injection Period
In the immediate hours following the injection:
Rest: It’s advisable to rest for the remainder of the day. Steer clear of demanding tasks and allow your body time to heal following the procedure. Check or blog on types of gel injections for knees.
Stay Hydrated: Water consumption can assist in washing out drugs and lower the possibility of adverse effects.
First Few Days
During the first few days post-injection:
Limited Activity: Continue to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and prolonged standing.
Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain medications may be used as directed by your healthcare provider to manage any post-injection discomfort.
One to Two Weeks
In the subsequent one to two weeks:
Gradual Resumption of Activities: Begin slowly incorporating light activities into your daily routine, as guided by your healthcare provider.
Monitor Side Effects: Observe any delayed side effects and notify your doctor or nurse right away if they continue or get worse. : More extensive care is frequently a requirement from a herniated disc doctor.
Follow-up Appointment: Attend all of your appointments for follow-up visits with your doctor so that you may evaluate your progress and address any issues.
Long-term recovery can extend beyond the initial two weeks, especially if you’re managing a chronic condition. During this period:
Physical Therapy: Your healthcare provider may recommend physical therapy to improve your strength and flexibility. You can find Dr. Abbasi at New Jersey Pain Spine and Sports Associates.
Medication Management: Continue to follow your prescribed medications as directed by your healthcare provider.
Lifestyle Modifications: To lower your chance of developing back pain in the future, think about adopting healthier lifestyle habits, including eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining proper posture.
Open Communication: To address any queries or worries that may come up while you’re recovering, be in constant contact with a medical professional.
In summary, understanding what to expect after lumbar epidural steroid injection is vital for a successful recovery. While side effects are common, most are temporary and manageable. Proper sleep positions and adequate rest play crucial roles in your comfort during the recovery period. Get the best Epidural Injection In New Jersey now!
How long you should rest after an epidural steroid injection depends on your individual circumstances, but a gradual resumption of activities is typically recommended. With the guidance of a trusted healthcare provider like Dr Faheem Abbasi MD NJ, you can look forward to a smoother recovery. If you have any concerns during your recovery, always consult with Dr. Faheem Abbasi, North Brunswick, NJ pain management center for personalized guidance and support.