Epidural Steroid Injection Specialist

Rio Grande Pain Team

Pain Medicine located in Weslaco, TX & McAllen, TX

Back and neck pain are among the top three causes of chronic pain in adults. When you suffer from persistent spine-related pain, an epidural steroid injection provides immediate and longer-lasting pain relief. Dennis Slavin, MD at Rio Grande Pain Team specializes in image-guided epidural steroid injections that help you get back to enjoying everyday life. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call the office in Weslaco, Texas or book an appointment online.

Epidural Steroid Injection Q & A

What is an epidural steroid injection?

An epidural steroid injection contains a corticosteroid and a local anesthetic such as lidocaine. Dr. Slavin injects the drugs in the epidural space surrounding the nerves that are causing your pain. The medications flow around the targeted nerves, bathing them in pain-relieving medication.

The corticosteroid in the injection is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that relieves pain for an extended time, while the anesthetic provides temporary but immediate pain relief.

The goal of an epidural steroid injection is to give you enough pain relief that you can get back to your normal activities and start a physical therapy program that helps maintain pain relief and mobility for the long run.

When might I need an epidural steroid injection?

Dr. Slavin may recommend an epidural steroid injection when you have persistent pain in your neck, arms, back, or legs due to a pinched or damaged nerve in your spine.   

You may be a good candidate for an epidural steroid injection if you have any of these conditions:

  • Spinal stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Herniated disc: Gel-like material inside the disc bulges through a weak area in the surrounding wall
  • Spondylolisthesis: Fracture or weakness between facet joints
  • Degenerative disc disease: Disc weakens and collapses, leading to bone spurs
  • Sciatica: Compressed sciatic nerve at the base of the spine causes pain down your leg

The first line of treatment for back and neck pain includes conservative measures such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), exercise, therapeutic massage, and physical therapy. If these measures don’t relieve your pain, you may be a good candidate for an epidural steroid injection

What should I expect during an epidural steroid injection?

Epidural steroid injections are administered in the office, where you’ll be comfortable and receive personal attention.

The procedure is image-guided using fluoroscopy, which is a continuous, real-time X-ray. With fluoroscopy, Dr. Slavin can visualize the epidural space and ensure precise placement of the needle.

While you lie on your stomach, Dr. Slavin injects a local anesthetic into the targeted area. After the area is numb, he injects a contrasting dye into the epidural space so the needle is easier to see on the X-ray. Then he places the needle close to the targeted nerves and injects the medication.

Your recovery time is quick following an epidural steroid injection. You can get up and walk around right away, but you’ll be monitored in the office for a short time before going home.

Don’t continue to put up with pain. Call Rio Grande Pain Team or book an appointment online.