What is a Cervical Epidural?
Chronic bouts of neck shoulder and arm pain can benefit from cervical epidural nerve blocks in patients who fail to respond to conservative treatment options such as chiropractic, physical therapy and acupuncture. Chronic inflammation and nerve root irritation can be alleviated by epidural injections. This article will discuss the ins and outs of this non-surgical treatment solution for chronic neck pain.
The neck or cervical spine consists of different bones, muscles, nerves and ligaments. Different injuries can cause pain to these structures leading to pain and inflammation. Cervical spine epidural injections are non-surgical options that are usually used when conservative treatment options have failed and/or can supplement or add to traditional treatments. Located in a small vertebral canal sits the spinal cord which has a protective layer around it known as the Dura. The area in between the Dura and the spinal cord is known as the epidural space. Nerves that make passage through this space are susceptible to injury and irritation, typically with disc herniation. An epidural injection is a cortisone-based solution or steroid, which is done under guided imaging known as fluoroscopy, which helps to accurately and effectively deliver the medication to the site of injury. These nerve blocks provide tremendous relief when combined with more traditional treatments such as chiropractic and physical therapy and can either provide pain relief for a few months at a time. This allows you to further rehabilitate and strengthen your spine during your treatment, aiding in recovery.
What does the Epidural procedure consist of?
Epidural injections are an alternative to surgery, designed to reduce inflammation and irritation so you can live a healthy and active lifestyle. Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine administers epidurals in our office, under a local anesthetic to the area involved with the patient lying in a comfortable position. As the area is prepped for the procedure, x-ray guided imaging known as fluoroscopy is used to provide proper deliver of the medication. Following the numbing medication a small portion of contrast dye is added to the area to further ensure proper location and placement of the needle into the epidural space. Epidural steroidal injections are a very common treatment method for patients seeking non-surgical solutions, for neck, shoulder and arm pain.
Post Epidural Procedure
After the epidural injection, the patient will undergo a brief monitoring period, which lasts between 30-60 minutes post procedure. During this time you will be given home instructions on recording your relief over the next two weeks until your follow up with Dr. Mejia. Patients who undergo epidural injections are usually under the care of one of our chiropractic physicians and doctorate level physical therapists, and may resume treatment the day after the epidural procedure, which is encouraged to strengthen gains made by the patient in these medical disciplines. Typically epidurals are administered in a series of 1-3 injections depending on the severity and relief seen in the patient. Our experience dictates that when we combine interventional pain management with conservative therapy, this allows the epidural to work more affectively getting patients better, faster!
If you find yourself suffering with this type of injury, or if you would like more information on the non-surgical orthopedic options that are available, please feel free to contact one of our patient care coordinators at 908-754-1960 or you may contact us online.
About the Authors:
Joseph Mejia D.O., F.A.A.P.M.& R, is a graduate of University of Michigan and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is Board Certified in physical medicine & Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Dr. Mejia received his Fellowship Training in Interventional Pain Management from University of Medicine and Dentistry. He has advanced training in Regenerative Medicine and is the Medical Director and Partner of Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine.
Vincent J. Diana D.C. Is a graduate of New York Chiropractic College. He is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician with licenses held in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dr. Diana is a Chiropractic Physician at Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine