Epidural Steroid Injection

What is an Epidural steroid injection?

An Epidural steroid injection (ESI) is an injection that goes into the Epidural space of the spine,this space encases the spinal cord, spinal fluid and nerve roots.  The ESI delivers a long acting steroid directly into the epidural space to help reduce pain by reducing inflammation around the nerves.

How does an Epidural Steroid Injection relieve my pain?

ESI typically are used to treat the pain that is radiating from lower back into the legs or from the neck into the arms.  The ESI relieves the pain by decreasing the inflammation that is around the nerve root compression with a long acting steroid.

What can I expect during and after this procedure?


  • The procedure usually takes 15 to 30 minutes
  • The patient is put under with a light sedation
  • The patient lies flat on his/her abdomen
  • The area of the injection is cleaned and numbed with lidocaine
  • Using live X-ray (fluoroscopy) for guidance, the physician inserts the needle toward the epidural space.
  • The steroid is injected


  • Patient is usually monitored for 15-20 minutes before being discharged.
  • The patient must have a driver
  • Patients are usually asked to rest the day of the injection
  • Normal activities can be typically resumed within 24-48 hours following injection

Published Clinical Evidence

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