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Back Pain Treatment Caused By Herniated Disc: Epidural Nerve Blocks

In our previous post, we discussed conservative options for the treatment of lower back pain. As we noted, for some patients, these simple therapies can provide the relief they need to resume their daily living.

For others, however, additional interventions may be needed. One of the most common causes of lower and upper back pain is a herniated disc. When the soft, rubbery discs that are located between the back’s vertebrae begin to weaken or tear (often during middle age), these discs can begin to bulge and press on surrounding nerves.

The specific symptoms related to a herniated disc depend on its location. Lower back pain and/or leg pain (known as sciatica) are the most common symptoms of a lumbar herniated disc. Cervical herniated discs, which occur in the upper spine, usually lead to numbness and tingling in the arms and hands.

The good news is that advances in treatment therapies can bring relief to those suffering from back pain caused by a herniated disc. These treatments are non-surgical and minimally invasive which means there are no stitches and recovery and relief can be achieved quickly. We usually begin with an epidural nerve block.

Following a thorough exam and imaging tests to pinpoint the exact location of the herniated disc, we use x-ray guidance to inject a local anesthetic and corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medication into the epidural space of the spinal column. These medications reduce the swelling of the irritated nerve roots to relieve pressure and pain.

The entire procedure is done in our office and takes less than one hour. But it can bring weeks, even months, of sustained pain relief. When combined with physical therapy to regain strength in the affected limbs, epidurals have proven to be highly effective and have enabled thousands of our patients to resume their normal lifestyles and hobbies.

It is not uncommon for our patients to tell us that within 24 to 48 hours of their epidural nerve block, they found themselves pain-free.

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