An epidural nerve block is a type of anesthesia that can be used to bring pain relief. The nerve block prevents pain signals from reaching your brain and is made up of anesthetics and steroids to stop pain and inflammation. There are three different types of epidural blocks that you can receive, which include lumbar, cervical, and thoracic injections. Epidurals aren’t only for pain management during childbirth, but also can be used for other conditions. If you want to know if an epidural block is an appropriate choice for your pain management, you should speak with a doctor to review your case. Contact Ceda Orthopedic Group today to learn more.
What Is the Epidural And How Does The Nerve Block Work?
The epidural region of the body is found within the tissue that sheaths the spinal cord. The epidural is between the vertebral column’s inner wall and the outer layer of the dura mater. Cerebrospinal fluid fills this area between the lining of the vertebral column and the outermost layer of the dura mater. This epidural space has many nerve roots and blood vessels that send sensations between the body and the brain. When the nerve block is applied, pain cannot be transmitted to the brain.
A needle is inserted between the laminae to administer the nerve block. The laminae are linked together and are a part of the vertebrae that covers and protects the back of the spine right above the spinal canal. The surgeon accesses the epidural space by inserting the needle through the laminae and injecting medicine to create an epidural nerve block. Sometimes, an epidural block is used in combination with spinal anesthesia or general anesthesia.
What Are Epidural Blocks Used For?
The epidural nerve block is considered a form of anesthesia that can be used for chronic pain syndromes. This analgesia brings temporary pain relief that can last for several months. They can be used for the following disorders:
When you have a ruptured, slipped, or bulged spinal disc, this can help bring relief. Herniated discs happen when the spinal disc nucleus slips beyond the annulus.
Sciatica pain is caused by a compressed nerve, creating radiating pain down the sciatic nerve. This pain can be felt in the legs, hips, and buttocks.
You may experience spinal stenosis when your spinal canal narrows due to trauma or deterioration. Spinal stenosis puts pressure on the nerves inside the spine, causing pain to the neck and lower back.
Knee pain is commonly caused by sprains, strains, and tears to the ligaments within the knee. It can be caused by athletic injuries and trauma.
Migraines are recurring headaches that range from severe pain to throbbing. They can be caused by underlying injuries, such as bulging cervical discs.
After surgery, you may take a long time to recover and can experience post-surgical pain. Controlling post-surgical pain can help speed up your recovery.
Also known as osteophytes, bone spurs occur when extra bone grows around joints and regions where two bones meet.
Degenerative Disc Disease
This occurs when there is a worn-down spinal disc due to age or disease, where the disc loses its lubrication or begins to fragment over time.
Other injuries can be treated by epidural blocks. You can speak to a doctor to find out how an epidural block can improve your condition and whether your disorder can be improved by this procedure.
Would I Be A Good Candidate For An Epidural Block?
If you have a pinched nerve, pain radiating from the spine, or chronic pain, you may be eligible for an epidural block. It is also beneficial for surgeries that are known to be painful or require a long time to recover. Another reason you might want an epidural block is for chronic pain that won’t go away with other non-invasive treatments. If you tried physical therapy, pain medication, and other approaches, but experienced no pain reduction, then you can speak with a doctor to find out if an epidural block is the right option for you.
Not everyone can be treated with an epidural block, which is why you will need to consult with an experienced doctor before trying the procedure. Your condition may bar you from being able to receive an epidural block. For example, if you have low blood pressure or previous nerve damage, you may not be a good candidate.
How Long Will It Take Me To Recover From The Procedure?
The procedure is quick and only requires around 15 minutes to perform. After you receive an epidural block, you might experience numbness because of the anesthetic. The numbness commonly happens in your arms and legs and goes away after five or more hours. It is recommended that you rest after your procedure until you regain normal sensation. You should not drive after an epidural injection and should wait 12 hours. Additionally, you will need to avoid applying heat to the injection site after three days post-procedure. You should wait 24 hours before you go back to normal activities. A clinic shuttle can transport you home after the procedure as this procedure does not require you to stay overnight. You may begin to feel pain relief within a week.
Why Epidural Blocks Might Be A Good Fit For You
Epidural blocks can bring pain relief for several months, but it is not a permanent solution. If you have exhausted other methods, such as physical therapy and other non-surgical methods of pain relief, you can consider trying this approach. Epidural blocks are minimally invasive and require little time to complete; however, you should speak to a doctor to find out if you are a good candidate. Contact Ceda Orthopedic Group to learn more about the procedure.