Epidural injections can be performed to treat radicular pain in the back, leg, neck or arm. An epidural injection may include a corticosteroid medication to reduce inflammation.
With an epidural injection, medication is placed into the space of the spinal column. This space is located between the dura (a membrane surrounding the nerve roots) and the interior surface of the spinal canal formed by the vertebrae. After a local skin anesthetic is applied to numb the injection site, a needle is advanced into the epidural space. To ensure accuracy and safety, the procedure is performed under fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, using a contrast agent to confirm needle placement. Corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medication is delivered into the epidural space to decrease the swelling around nerve roots, relieving pressure and pain.