Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection in Plano, TX
Cervical Injections Doctor in Plano
When you have severe or chronic neck pain, numbness, or tingling, it’s hard to work, do chores around the house, and enjoy your favorite activities. At Advanced Spine Center, Stephen Courtney, MD, understands the impact of neck pain and discomfort. He can offer an effective cervical epidural steroid injection in Plano to help you.
Located in Plano, Texas, Dr. Courtney brings more than 20 years of experience and extensive training to provide the highest quality care to relieve your pain. To schedule a consultation on cervical injections, call 972-499-5457 or book a visit online at Advanced Spine Center today.
What Are Cervical Neck Injections for Pain?
Cervical injections are a procedure involving the administration of medication into specific areas of the neck. Dr. Courtney performs precise, effective injections for men and women experiencing chronic or severe neck pain and numbness and tingling that extends into the arms or hands.
Cervical injections can be used to identify the specific site of your pain and determine which anatomical structure is causing your pain and whether it’s a facet joint in your spine, cervical disc herniation, or a pinched nerve.
Dr. Courtney could recommend additional treatments alongside cervical injections to achieve pain relief, including physical therapy, lifestyle changes, or anti-inflammatory medications.
How Do Cervical Injections Work?
A cervical injection, also known as a cervical epidural injection or cervical steroid injection, is a medical procedure used to treat various conditions that cause pain and inflammation in the neck and upper spine area, particularly in the cervical region of the spine. These injections primarily target the cervical epidural space, which is the area around the spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck.
The corticosteroid medication in the injection helps reduce inflammation and alleviate pain by suppressing the immune system’s inflammatory response. The local anesthetic provides immediate pain relief, which can help improve the patient’s comfort while waiting for the corticosteroid to take effect over the following days.
Cervical injections can provide pain relief and improve function in patients with cervical spine conditions. However, the duration of relief varies from person to person, and the injections may need to be repeated periodically for long-term management of chronic conditions. The specific treatment plan and choice of injection approach will depend on the patient’s condition and Dr. Courtney’s recommendation.
Who Performs Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections?
At Advanced Spine Center, Dr. Courtney will administer your cervical epidural injection. Dr. Courtney is a Plano orthopedic spine surgeon with over 20 years of experience. He is both board-certified and fellowship-trained, which means he is an expert in his field.
Multiple types of healthcare providers can perform cervical epidural corticosteroid injections. Examples of these providers are as follows.
- Pain management physicians
- Interventional radiologists
- Interventional neurologists
- Spine surgeons
When Are Cervical Injections Recommended?
Cervical epidural steroid injections are commonly recommended as a pain relief solution for many conditions that affect the cervical spine, as well as chronic neck pain. If a patient has acute or chronic pain that other treatments have failed to alleviate, cervical epidural injections may be an option. These injections are typically considered part of a comprehensive treatment plan when more conservative approaches, such as physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle modifications, have not provided sufficient relief.
It’s important to note that cervical epidural steroid injections are not typically used as a first-line treatment. They are often reserved for cases where conservative measures have been exhausted, and the patient’s symptoms significantly impact their quality of life. Dr. Courtney may recommend and administer these injections after a thorough evaluation of the individual’s condition and consideration of potential risks and benefits.
It’s also essential to understand that cervical epidural steroid injections are not a cure for underlying spinal conditions but rather a means of managing symptoms and providing temporary relief. The effectiveness and duration of pain relief can vary from person to person, and the injections may need to be repeated as part of ongoing pain management.
What Conditions Are Treated by Cervical Epidural Injections?
Cervical injections are used as both a diagnostic procedure and a treatment for a variety of neck conditions, including:
- Cervical disc degeneration (degenerative disc disease)
- Cervical facet syndrome
- Spinal stenosis
- Cervical disc herniation
- Cervical radiculopathy
- Postoperative pain
- Chronic spinal pain
- Whiplash injuries
Different types of cervical injections are used based on your symptoms, diagnosis, the site of your pain, and the severity of your discomfort. Injections can also relieve associated pain in the spinal nerves, head, upper back, shoulders, arms, and hands.
How Common Are Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections?
Cervical epidural steroid injections are a relatively common medical procedure used to manage neck pain and related symptoms associated with various cervical spine conditions. Their frequency of use has increased over the years, and they are considered a standard treatment option in pain management and spinal care. Factors that contribute to the commonality of cervical epidural steroid injections include the following.
- Prevalence of cervical spine conditions: Conditions such as herniated discs, cervical radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease are relatively common in the population, especially among older adults. As a result, there is a steady demand for interventions like epidural injections to manage related symptoms.
- Safety and effectiveness: Cervical epidural steroid injections are generally considered safe and effective when performed by trained professionals. This safety profile has contributed to their common use as a pain management tool.
- Patient preferences: Many patients prefer non-surgical options for pain relief first. Cervical epidural injections offer a less invasive alternative to surgery for certain spinal conditions.
- Conservative treatment follow-up: Healthcare providers typically start with conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and medications, before considering more invasive interventions like injections. However, when conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief, cervical epidural injections become a more common recommendation.
What Types of Cervical Injections Are Available?
Dr. Courtney offers two types of injections: steroid injections and analgesic injections.
Steroid injections decrease inflammation in the treatment area, while anesthetic injections decrease pain sensations and numb the treatment area.
Facet joint and epidural injections include both steroids and analgesic medications, while medial branch blocks are solely anesthetic.
Steroid injections are directed into the space between the facet joints of your vertebrae or the epidural space surrounding your spinal cord. When these areas are irritated, it can lead to pain in the area and inflammation that aggravates the surrounding nerves and muscles.
Anesthetic injections direct a numbing drug into the epidural space, spinal joints, or nerves in your neck. The medicine numbs the area and prevents pain signals in the nerves. These injections can relieve numbness and tingling in the arms and hands, as well.
Both steroid and analgesic injections are used to diagnose and to treat, though Dr. Courtney could recommend additional treatments — physical therapy, radiofrequency ablation, minimally invasive surgery — based on your response to the injections.
Methods of Administering Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections
There are two common approaches to cervical epidural steroid injection administration. These approaches are transforaminal and interlaminar. The name of each method describes the specific administration path the provider uses to reach the epidural space around the spinal cord.
Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection
In a transforaminal approach, the needle path goes through the foramina, which are the openings in your spine where the roots of your spinal nerves exit.
Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injection
In an interlaminar approach, the needle path goes between two laminae in the spine to reach the epidural space. Laminae are flat pieces of bone that form the outer wall of the spinal canal. They are a part of each spinal vertebra, and they help protect your spinal cord.
How to Prepare for Cervical Epidural Injections
While preparing for a cervical epidural steroid injection, be sure to tell your doctor if you are or may be pregnant. You should also inform them of all medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, supplements, and herbs.
Dr. Courtney will explain how to prepare for the cervical steroid injection. Follow these instructions closely, as they help patients reduce the risk of complications. He will likely ask you to:
- Avoid eating or drinking for a certain amount of time before the procedure
- Stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners
- Undergo imaging tests to pinpoint the treatment area
- Have someone drive you home after your procedure
When determining whether or not to choose a certain provider for your procedure, you can ask certain questions to learn more about their skills and experience. We recommend asking questions about the following.
- How often they perform cervical epidural steroid injections
- How the injection will feel
- Risks of cervical epidural injection procedures
- How to prepare for the procedure
- How long the effects of the injection will last
What Happens During a Cervical Injection Procedure?
Generally, cervical epidural steroid injections take around 15 to 30 minutes in total. Your doctor will walk you through the process and ensure you are comfortable during the procedure. The steps involved in a cervical epidural steroid injection include the following.
- The patient puts on a medical gown and lies face-down on the procedure table.
- Their doctor will carefully clean the area of the neck where the injection will be administered. This is done to minimize the patient’s risk of infection.
- It is common for doctors to numb the area with a local anesthetic, sparing the patient any unnecessary discomfort.
- Once the area is numb, the doctor will likely use some form of imaging guidance to place the needle exactly where it should be in the spinal canal. Certain types of imaging may require contrast material, which the doctor will inject to ensure they can accurately guide the needle.
- Then, they slowly administer the medication at the injection site. Different providers offer different types of injections, so be sure to ask about your options before the procedure.
- When the needle is removed, the doctor applies pressure to the injection site to minimize bleeding. They will then clean and bandage the injection site.
- You will remain at the hospital or outpatient clinic for thirty minutes to an hour. This is done to ensure that you don’t have a reaction to the injection.
Is a Cervical Injection Painful?
Most patients feel a small pinch during the administration of the local anesthetic. After that, you may or may not feel anything during the cervical epidural steroid injection. Common sensations during these injections include the following.
- Momentary pain
- Burning sensations
If you feel discomfort from the injection, it should subside by the time the injection is complete. Tell your doctor immediately if you feel intense pain during or after the injection.
What Is Recovery Like After a Cervical Injection?
Some discomfort at the injection site is normal, but it should subside over a few hours. If your doctor used a local anesthetic before the injection, you may feel numbness or heaviness in your hand, arm, shoulder, or neck.
Rest as much as you can for the rest of the day after the injection. Avoid excessive activity for the next few days. If your pain worsens for two to three days after the procedure, this is normal.
How Long Do Cervical Injections Take to Work?
Cervical epidural steroid injections should start providing pain relief within two days to one week.
How Long Do Cervical Epidural Injections Last?
This varies from patient to patient. Cervical epidural steroid injections are a highly effective form of short-term pain relief. They can provide relief for several days, weeks, or months. These injections are effective as periodic injections for pain management.
Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection Side Effects
It is rare for patients to experience complications and side effects from cervical epidural steroid injections. However, it is still important to understand the potential risks before undergoing any procedure. Rarely, patients can experience the following side effects.
- Severe headaches
- Low blood pressure
- Injection reactions
- Bleeding problems
- Nerve damage
- Weakened muscles or bones
What Is the Success Rate of Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection Procedures?
Around 40-84% of patients have at least some pain relief from cervical epidural steroid injections. It is possible, however, for patients to experience no relief. This varies from patient to patient.
Generally, a cervical epidural steroid injection is intended as a form of short-term pain relief. Many patients have these injections so they can participate in physical therapy or avoid more invasive procedures.
If you have relief from chronic neck pain after your cervical epidural steroid injection, your doctor may recommend another injection at a later time. However, doctors limit the number of these injections that a patient can have in a year to two or three. Having epidural steroid injections too often can cause weakening of nearby muscles or bones.
Contact Advance Spine Center for Cervical Injections in Plano, TX
At the Advanced Spine Center, we understand how frustrating and limiting chronic pain can be. You just want to live your life and participate in the activities you love, but your pain is preventing you from living life to the fullest. Luckily, there is a solution for patients with chronic pain who want to avoid invasive procedures. Cervical steroid injections can provide short-term pain relief for neck pain and chronic pain caused by inflamed or irritated spinal nerve roots in the neck.
To determine if cervical steroid injections can relieve your neck pain, numbness, or tingling, call the Advanced Spine Center at 972-499-5457 or schedule an appointment online.