Cervical epidural steroid injections are used to treat neck, shoulder, and arm pain due to a compressed or inflamed nerve in the cervical spine. Cervical epidural steroid injections lead to rapid pain relief, as well as reduced inflammation in the affected area. Although the mechanism of action is not fully understood, it is proposed that cervical epidural steroid injections result in anti-inflammatory effects and membrane stabilization in the nerve.
Before the procedure, topical anesthesia is applied to the skin. Then, a healthcare professional uses imaging technology to place a needle in the correct position in the epidural space. Steroids and an anesthetic are then injected directly onto the nerve roots for rapid and significant pain relief. Additionally, a dye is typically injected to ensure that the medication is properly distributed through the target areas. The procedure is safe, effective, and may be repeated several times during a one-year time frame.
Indications for cervical epidural steroid injections include chronic neck and upper back pain. The procedure is virtually painless and effective in treating pain resulting from a variety of conditions, including:
Cervical radiculitis – pain due to any condition or injury that causes damage to nerves in the neck
Spinal stenosis – the narrowing of the open spaces in the spine resulting in pressure on the spinal cord and nerves
Cervical spondylosis – damage to spinal discs in the neck as a result of age-related wear and tear
Herniated disc – the rupturing of spinal discs causing jelly-like substance to leak out and irritate nearby nerves