An epidural steroid injection (ESI) – more commonly known as a back pain injection – is a Premier Diagnostic Imaging service that provides relief from back pain. A steroid injection includes both a corticosteroid and an anesthetic numbing agent. The injection works on the spinal nerves by flushing away the proteins that cause swelling. The pain relief can last from days to months, allowing your spinal condition to improve with physical therapy and exercise.
Each epidural steroid injection procedure at Premier Diagnostic Imaging is staffed by a nurse, a radiology technologist, and a radiologist. Needle placement is guided under fluoroscopy to deliver the medicine to the epidural space of the spine. Depending on the severity of the pain and inflammation, patients may receive a series of three injections.
Plan to take it easy for a day or so after the procedure, as your back may be sore. You may want to apply ice to the affected area. Perform activities as tolerated by you. Unless there are complications, you should be able to return to work the next day. If you are allergic to any of the medications involved in the injection, if you have an active infection, or if you have poorly controlled diabetes or heart disease, you should not have a back pain injection or at least consider postponing it.
You must have a driver the day of your procedure, as you will not be allowed to drive home afterward. We recommend that someone stay with you for 12 hours following the injection. Drink plenty of clear fluid up to one hour prior to your procedure to stay hydrated. Caffeinated beverages (colas, teas, coffee, etc.) are recommended to help prevent post-procedure headaches. You should not eat any solid food for four hours prior to the exam. If you are on antiplatelet or blood-thinning medications, stop medications for the recommended periods below: