Living with pain in your back, neck, arms, or legs affects every aspect of your life. At OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group, our goal is to help you find effective pain relief so you can get back to enjoying the things you love. We offer several pain-relieving treatments for hard-to-treat chronic pain, including interlaminar epidural injections to relieve your back pain.
WHAT ARE INTERLAMINAR EPIDURAL INJECTIONS?
Epidural injections provide pain relief by injecting powerful anti-inflammatory medicine into the spaces outside the membrane that protects your spine. The injection contains both a numbing agent and a steroid to fight pain-causing inflammation. You can learn more about epidural injections HERE.
“Interlaminar” refers to the openings between the bony parts of each vertebra (laminae). With an interlaminar epidural injection, medicine is placed directly into the epidural space through the bony window, around the spinal nerve roots.
Many people find effective relief from their chronic pain after interlaminar epidural injections since this method allows the medicine to reach a larger area than other types of injections. This is also an effective treatment because interlaminar injections can be helpful for pain that’s coming from multiple levels in your spine.
The procedure is low-risk and minimally invasive. For some, epidural injections can even delay or eliminate the need for risky and invasive surgery.
WHAT CONDITIONS DO INTERLAMINAR EPIDURAL INJECTIONS TREAT?
Your spine has nerves running all along it. When these nerves become pinched, they get irritated and inflamed, causing pain in your back, neck, arms, or legs. Nerves may become compressed through injury, degeneration, or structural problems in your spine.
Interlaminar injections can treat pain due to:
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Lumbar radiculopathy
- Spinal injury
By reducing the inflammation that stems from the compressed spinal nerves, interlaminar epidural injections can provide fast-acting pain relief.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR VISIT
When you come in for your interlaminar epidural injection, you’ll first put on a gown and lie down on your stomach on a treatment table. Next, we’ll clean and sanitize the injection area and give a local numbing agent to the area we’ll be treating. This will help you stay more comfortable. This procedure does not require general anesthesia, so you’ll be awake and aware.
Your doctor will insert a small needle into the interlaminar opening, using imaging to ensure it’s placed in the precise spot. Once the correct placement is verified, the doctor will inject medicine into the area. You may feel some discomfort or pressure from the injection, but the injection itself only takes a few minutes.
We’ll monitor you for a short amount of time after your injection before you go home. You’ll want to avoid strenuous activity the day of your injection, but most people can resume their normal activities within a day.
You can use an ice pack to ease any discomfort at the injection site. Then we’ll follow up with you to see how your pain relief is progressing. We may ask you to keep a pain diary to track your pain. The daily tracking will help us know when the injections began working and what level of pain relief you’re experiencing.
HOW QUICKLY DO INTERLAMINAR EPIDURAL INJECTIONS WORK?
The medicine we’ll inject contains both an anesthetic and steroid. Some people feel pain relief immediately after their interlaminar epidural steroid injection, but this is usually due to the anesthetic. It can take up two to seven days for the steroid to work, reducing the inflammation and pain in your spine.
HOW LONG DO INTERLAMINAR EPIDURAL INJECTIONS LAST?
Many patients find effective pain relief from interlaminar epidural injections, but results can vary depending on your unique condition. You may experience pain relief for several weeks or even several months. You may also need more than one injection for optimal comfort.
You can receive epidural injections 3-6 times per year. Interlaminar epidural injections can also be given alongside other healing modalities offered at our clinics, such as physical therapy and acupuncture.
When you schedule a consultation at OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group, we’ll create a custom pain-relieving treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
If more conservative therapies aren’t relieving your chronic back pain, interlaminar epidural injections may help. Schedule a consultation with our caring pain management experts to see if interlaminar epidural injections are the right next step for you.