What is Thoracic Epidural Injections?
The Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI), also called Thoracic Epidural Analgesia, is a dose administered to help ease pain in your thoracic region (upper to the middle) of your back) and shoulder blade area. Irritated or stressed nerves cause the problem in the thoracic spine. That could happen, in particular, if part of an intervertebral disc presses into the space of the spinal cord and nerves. You may then feel pain in your back.
Why might you need a Thoracic Epidural Injection?
If you have middle or upper back pain and other treatments such as pain killers or physical therapy don’t work, then a Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI) is the only option for you the pain is constant. It treats different back problems, such as thoracic spinal stenosis and injuries in the spinal nerves. It reduces swelling around the spinal nerves and helps ease the pain for up to three months.
What are the risks of a Thoracic Epidural Injection?
The Thoracic Epidural Analgesia is a genuinely safe procedure, but it has some risks like bleeding, infections, temporary nerve paralysis, or headaches. There is also a slight chance the analgesia won’t ease your pain. Risks may differ depending on age and certain medical conditions like high blood pressure. Consult a healthcare provider before opting for this procedure.
What happens during the Thoracic ESI procedure?
In general, you will be asked to lie on your side and given an Intravenous therapy (IV) to make you feel relaxed. Then, the area where the needle is to be inserted is wiped and numbed. Then, the healthcare provider inserts the needle in the correct size with the help of x-rays. When the needle is in place, a small contrast material is injected to ensure the needle is in the right position. Then, a mixture of anesthesia and anti-inflammatory steroid is injected. Then the medication is slowly injected. At this point, you might feel a little uncomfortable, but it is normal. You must inform the healthcare provider if you feel severe pain.
What happens after the Thoracic ESI procedure?
After the procedure is completed, you will be put under observation for about an hour to ensure there are no reactions. You need to rest for almost a day before carrying on your daily activities. The Thoracic ESI takes a while to ease the pain, so it is normal if you don’t feel any difference right away. You will feel numbness in your arms, but that will go away in a few hours. The healthcare provider should be informed if there are any side effects.
A Thoracic ESI might temporarily help ease your pain, but it does not treat or cure back problems.