Many people with neck and back pain find relief from a minimally invasive procedure called an epidural steroid injection (ESI). An ESI administers corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic to the area within the epidural space near irritated nerves. The epidural space surrounds the protective covering of the spinal cord and protects it from the vertebral bones.
The administration of corticosteroid medication directly to the area of irritation decreases inflammation and swelling around the nerve and may ease pain. While an ESI does not decrease the size of a herniated disc or heal spinal stenosis, it provides relief so that one can resume physical therapy and regular daily activities. Many clients feel an immediate improvement that can last from weeks to years.