When spinal nerves become irritated or inflamed due to a degenerative condition in the spine that is causing a pinched nerve (such as a slipped disc or stenosis), the result may be severe acute or chronic back pain, as well as pain, numbness, and muscle weakness that extends elsewhere into the body, such as the hips, buttocks, or legs.

Before your doctor considers recommending spine surgery or chronic pain therapies to relieve these symptoms, he or she will most likely recommend one or more non-surgical treatment measures. An epidural spinal injection is one of these options.

What Is an Epidural Spinal Injection and How Does It Work?

An epidural spinal injection involves delivering medication directly into the area around the irritated spinal nerves that are causing the pain. This area is called the epidural space, and it is the space around the sheath-like protective membrane (or dura) that covers the spinal nerves and nerve roots.

An epidural spinal injection is typically not considered a "cure" for symptoms associated with spinal compression. Rather, it's a treatment "tool" that a doctor can use while the underlying cause of the problem is being addressed through a rehabilitative program such as physical therapy or exercise, or while you are considering less conservative treatment options.

Talk with your doctor about the benefits and the risks of epidural spinal injections.