An epidural injection is a shot of medicine in your neck or back. It goes into the area around the spinal cord. This type of injection may have both a steroid and a local anesthetic or may only have a steroid. The steroid reduces swelling and pain. The local anesthetic numbs the nerves. Some individuals receive a series of these injections over weeks or months.
- Cervical epidurals help with pain, tingling, or numbness in your neck, shoulder or arm.
- Lumbar epidurals help with pain, tingling, or numbness in your back, thighs or legs.
How is a cervical epidural done? The doctor will use a tiny needle to numb the skin where the injection is being given. After the skin is numb, the doctor will use a larger needle for the epidural injection. X-ray will be used to help guide the needle. There may be some pressure, but should not feel pain. The epidural injection takes about 10 to 15 minutes.