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I’m Nervous About Getting An Epidural Injection. What Should I Expect?

Back pain often responds best to targeted treatments like epidural injections. With this simple injection, we can neutralize your pain and significantly reduce inflammation — but we understand if all those benefits aren’t enough to calm your needle nerves. 

Whether you’re no friend to needles because of a past experience or you’re uneasy with the unknown, we want to help you address your concerns. 

Dr. Raul Lopez and our West Texas Pain Institute have years of experience administering epidural injections, and we use that experience to help patients like you better understand and feel comfortable with the process. 

Here’s everything you should know about getting an epidural injection. 

Let’s start at the very beginning

For starters, we only recommend epidural injections if they’re right for you. We thoroughly evaluate your medical history and symptoms to ensure it’s the best course of action. 

If you are a good candidate, our next step is to walk you through the procedure. Here’s a sneak peek.

An epidural injection gets its name from where we inject it: the epidural space. The epidural space is the fatty area that surrounds your spinal cord. It’s here where inflammation can easily accumulate, press on nearby nerves, and cause radiating back pain. 

We inject a corticosteroid, a strong anti-inflammatory medicine, into the inflamed epidural space, and the steroids work quickly to relieve symptoms associated with:

Epidural injections are among the most versatile back pain treatments available — and they’re also nothing to fear. 

Why you shouldn’t be nervous about your injection

The injection itself doesn’t take very long (around 15 minutes), and most people don’t feel any discomfort during the process. Because we clean and numb the injection site, you should only experience some gentle pressure as we insert the needle and push the medicine through. 

Dr. Lopez also uses a special type of X-ray called fluoroscopy to guide the needle into place. The fluoroscopy allows us to see what’s going on inside your body so we can direct the needle and medication exactly where it needs to go. You can rest assured there won’t be any unnecessary poking and prodigy. 

Most of our patients receive epidurals on an outpatient, so you shouldn't worry about spending additional time in a hospital room. 

The best part? Once you make it through the injection, pain relief is only a few days away. You also won’t have to deal with any side effects; if you do, they‘re typically mild and easy to manage. Some patients report side effects like a warming sensation or flushing in the face or chest, while others notice water retention and sleep disturbances for a few days. 

Talk to us about any side effects you experience, especially if they worsen or become severe.

If you have debilitating radiation back pain, don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from getting fast, long-lasting relief. Call our friendly staff with your questions and concerns, use our online booking tool to schedule a consultation, or talk to an expert at our El Paso, Texas, office today.

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