Your spine is made up of individual bones, or vertebrae, and rubbery cushions between these bones known as discs. A herniated disc happens when one of the discs ruptures or slips out of place.
Depending on where the injury happens, you might experience a range of bothersome symptoms that worsen as time goes on. Steroid injections are a minimally invasive treatment option for reducing herniated disc symptoms when conservative treatments haven’t fully helped.
Our team of experienced pain management experts at Michigan Neurology Associates provides epidural steroid injections as well as other interventions for chronic and acute back pain in a safe, efficient, ambulatory environment. Read on to learn more about this therapeutic treatment.
Herniated disc symptoms
A herniated disc can occur at any place on your spine. You can experience one without any noticeable symptoms, but when symptoms do crop up, they can range from mild or moderate to fairly severe.
Depending on the location, a herniated disc may cause:
- Arm or shoulder pain that worsens when you cough or sneeze
- Leg pain that extends into your buttocks
- Muscle weakness and an increased risk for injury
- Nerve pain or damage
- Radiating numbness or tingling through part of your body
In severe cases that result in nerve damage, you might also experience bladder and bowel problems.
Herniated disc treatments
If your symptoms are mild or moderate, we may recommend you start with conservative treatment for a herniated disc. These measures may include:
- Cold or heat therapy
- Avoiding too much bed rest to prevent stiffness
- Over-the-counter pain medications
- Short walks and mild activity between spurts of rest
As you begin to feel better, we prompt you to gradually increase your usual daily activities in slow, controlled ways. If these measures fail to sufficiently reduce your symptoms, you may be a strong candidate for epidural steroid injections.
How steroid injections help
Epidural steroid injections help reduce pain and other symptoms of a herniated disc by going straight to the area of injury. During the procedure, we use an X-ray-guided needle that delivers pain-reducing medication and local anesthetic to the epidural space in your spine.
This outpatient procedure usually takes about 30 minutes, during which you remain awake and relaxed in a sitting or reclining position. If needed, you may receive IV sedation for added ease. You might feel a bit of pressure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.
Afterward, you might need to rest for a short while, but by the next day, you can resume your usual activities with fewer herniated disc symptoms.
To learn more about steroid injections and get support from our pain management specialists at Michigan Neurology Associates, call one of our three locations or send us a message through this website.
Our Detroit metro offices are located in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and Utica, Michigan. During the pandemic, we’re also offering telehealth and phone appointments.