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Our experienced medical staff responds to a recent patient question about epidural steroid injections for chronic pain:

“What is the goal for an Epidural Steroid Injection for chronic back or neck pain?”

Cindy responds:

Cindy in the exam roomThe goal of an ESI is to provide pain relief by reducing the inflammation of nerve roots and to promote healing in the area. There is no way to predict if and how much relief you will obtain.  Some patients may have relief right away and some may take 3 days and up to two weeks for the full effect.  An ESI will not correct the pre-existing medical problem (e.g., herniated disc, spinal stenosis), but hopefully it will help decrease the amount of pain you are experiencing.  Ideally, the end result will allow you to become more active again and resume daily activities.  Typically we tell patients you can have these injections every three to four months for maximum pain relief, but every patient is different depending on their medical condition.