As spinal nerves travel through the passages that surround and protect them, they are cushioned by the fat in the epidural space between the nerve and passage wall.
Inflammation from disc herniations, bone spurs or other conditions can narrow these passages, putting pressure on the nerves that is experienced as sciatic pain.
Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) deliver anti-inflammatory steroids into a wide area of the epidural space, to relieve pressure and break the cycle of pain. Proven safe and effective over decades of use, an ESI is administered with a thin needle guided by an x-ray to ensure that the medication is distributed appropriately in the epidural space. In this outpatient procedure, a local anesthetic may numb the injection site, and patients typically return to their activities the next day, with little or no adverse effects.
Pain relief generally begins within one to seven days and may last for an extended period of time. ESIs can be repeated regularly to manage pain over time.