Understanding Epidural Steroid Injections: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients

Oct 1, 2023

Pain can be an ongoing, debilitating burden. Understanding all available treatment options – Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI), in particular – is crucial for those searching for relief from their symptoms. At SOLUTIONS Pain & Spine in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, our mission is to arm our patients with comprehensive knowledge that will support their journey to finding relief from discomfort.


What Is an Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)?

An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a minimally invasive procedure in which steroids are directly administered into the epidural space of your spine. The epidural space exists between protective covering of spinal cord and vertebrae and when injection of steroids into this space can reduce inflammation and swelling around spinal nerves to provide relief from pain.


Who Can Benefit From an Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)?

While epidural steroid injections (ESIs) may not be the perfect answer for every condition, many patients who meet certain criteria can find significant relief through them. The following are common conditions that often benefit from a ESI:

  • Sciatica: Sciatica describes pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve’s path from its origin in the lower back, through hips, buttocks, and legs—down to each foot. Usually this pain results from a herniated disc pressing on this nerve.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: As our discs age and wear away over time, they can become painful. An ESI can provide much-needed relief.
  • Spinal Stenosis: Narrowing of spaces within your spine can put pressure on nerves, leading to discomfort. An ESI may help alleviate some of this pain.
  • Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis occurs when one or more bones in the spine shift out of position, often pressing against nerves.
  • Herniated Disc: If a disc bulges or ruptures, it can press against nearby nerves and cause severe and chronic discomfort.
  • Post-Laminectomy Syndrome: Some individuals still experience chronic discomfort post-surgery for spinal problems. An ESI may help manage this discomfort.
  • Fractures in the Spine: If a fall or other trauma causes spine fractures, pain management with ESI may provide effective relief.

Every patient’s circumstances are unique; therefore, our experts at SOLUTIONS Pain & Spine conduct a detailed evaluation to determine whether an ESI therapy would be most suitable to your particular case.


Our pain clinic is conveniently located to serve the following areas: 


  • Peachtree Corners, GA
  • Norcross, GA
  • Dunwoody, GA
  • Tucker, GA
  •  Roswell, GA
  • Alpharetta, GA
  • Liburn, GA
  • Chamblee, GA
  • Duluth, GA
  • Berkely Lake, GA

 How Does an ESI Procedure Work?

Once an ESI is determined to be an appropriate treatment option, patients typically receive local anesthetic to numb the area before being guided using fluoroscopy into an epidural space by their physician and given a steroid medication infusion. The entire process usually lasts less than an hour and most can return home same-day.


What to Expect Following an Injection

After receiving their injection, patients typically experience some temporary soreness at the injection site that can typically be managed using over-the-counter pain medications and soreness fades within a few days. Steroid’s anti-inflammatory effects commonly begin working within days to weeks; some people might find significant relief with just one shot while others might need several.