Lumbar and Cervical Epidural SteroidDr. Howard Liss treats disorders that cause pain and disability by providing consultative services and soft tissue and joint injections when needed. When medically appropriate, he makes specific referrals for diagnostic testing (lab work, imaging, electrodiagnosis), physical and occupational therapy, interventional procedures (epidurals and facet joint injections), and surgery.
When individuals suffer from back or neck pain, including leg pain, nerves in the spine are often the source of their pain. Thus, as a way to reduce pain and inflammation, lumbar or cervical epidural injections are administered to the epidural space of the spine. This space contains fat and small blood vessels, and it is positioned between the vertebral wall and the dura mater, which is a membrane of the spine. While epidural steroid injections are not a cure-all, they are one important component of a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Patients are then able to move on with therapy without pain and inflammation.
Nerve irritation in the spine can cause a number of symptoms, depending on the region of the spine that is affected. For instance, when nerves are irritated in the cervical region, individuals may experience neck, shoulder and arm pain, along with numbness and a tingling sensation. In turn, when nerve irritation is located in the thoracic (mid-back) region of the spine, pain is notably present along the ribs, extending to the chest wall. Pain is also experienced in the upper back. Even so, when irritation is located in the lumbar spine, individuals suffer low back pain. They may also have hip and buttock pain that can extend to the leg, causing numbness and tingling. While a number of factors can contribute to nerve irritation such as a herniated disc, nerve impingement, arthritis or other degenerative issues, the result is the same—nerves become inflamed, causing varying levels of pain and discomfort.
Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cervical Treatment
Significantly reducing pain for many patients, epidural steroid injections work by delivering anti-inflammatory medication (steroids) to the lumbar or cervical region of the spine. This minimally invasive lumbar cervical treatment is an x-ray guided procedure. This gives medical interventionists the ability to carefully monitor the placement and movement of the needle as it enters the epidural space. In addition, a contrast dye is injected to ensure that the steroid reaches the irritated nerves.
Patients benefit from steroid injections for back and neck pain for several reasons. First, when pain and inflammation is reduced, patients can engage in other forms of treatment, as directed by the physiatrist. Second, epidural injections remove inflammatory proteins that have built up around structures and nerves in the spine. Finally, less pain and inflammation stimulates the body’s natural healing process.
At the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute, patients can rely on Dr. Liss to put together the appropriate treatment, including epidural injections to ensure the most optimal outcome. Dr. Liss works closely with other specialists required to rehabilitate patients suffering from chronic pain or serious injuries, and Dr. Liss will refer patients as needed to ensure appropriate treatment. With extensive education and exposure to a variety of conditions that affect the cervical and lumbar spine, bones, nerves, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, brain, and spinal cord, Dr. Liss is uniquely positioned to help patients manage their pain and maximize their functioning.
If you are in the Tenafly, Englewood or Fort Lee areas and are suffering from back or neck pain, contact the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute today.