Epidural steroid injections are synthetic drugs which closely resemble cortisol, something which is a naturally occurring hormone produced by your adrenal glands. These steroids differ from hormone related steroid compounds typically used by male athletes. These particular steroids work to decrease inflammation and to reduce the activity of the immune system. They are used to treat many inflammatory conditions and diseases.
How are epidural steroid injections administered?
These steroid drugs come in multiple forms and they each vary in terms of how long they remain within the body and how quickly they dissolve in the body. Some steroids are given systemically this means that they are given throughout the entire body, or the system. In other cases they can be given locally which means they are placed into a precise location where a problem exists. Systemic steroids can be given through an IV or by mouth. If an IV is used it can be placed directly into a vein or into a muscle. Local steroids can be injected into the joints or into the soft tissue areas, or around the tendons. Local steroids can also be administered as eye drops, skin creams, or ear drops.
Why are steroids injected?
Injecting a steroid into a local inflammation provides doctors at the Atlanta pain clinic, Pain Management Atlanta with the ability to deliver a high dose of medicine directly into the region which is affected. If steroids are given by mouth doctors cannot be positive about the amount of time it will take for the steroid to reach the exact problem area.
Which conditions can be treated with steroid injections?
Steroids are typically injected directly into the joint when trying to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. Steroids can also be injected around the tendons in the hip, knee, elbow, shoulder, wrist, or and. Decisions to prescribe steroids aren’t ministered on individual bases with the doctor considering all currently prescribed medications, age, and level of physical activity before signing off .
Before the use of the steroids are administered a doctor will make sure that I’ve the patient you thoroughly understand the potential benefits and risks associated with the injections.
When should steroid injections be avoided?
You should avoid using a steroid injection if the area which is causing the problem is currently infected. If you are currently taking blood thinning medications or you have a potential bleeding problem it may cause excessive bleeding at the site of the injection and in cases such as this patients are only given injections with great caution. Those who use steroid injections frequently, something considered to be more than once every three months, are not recommended to continue because the increased risk will weaken the tissue inside of the area being treated.
What are the potential disadvantages?
While the use of steroid injections is one of the most effective ways to improve function and decrease pain it does not generally cure any illness. In certain instances side effects can take place including allergic reactions, local bleeding, infection, skin discoloration, or a rupture of your tendon. Excessive use of injections in the same region can cause the tendons, ligaments, and bone to begin.