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Health ArticlesWhy Is Pain Worse After Epidural Steroid Injection? Explained

Why Is Pain Worse After Epidural Steroid Injection? Explained

Why ‌Is Pain Worse ​After Epidural⁤ Steroid Injection? Explained

Pain explained

Pain after an‍ epidural steroid injection (ESI) is ⁤a common concern ⁢for individuals seeking relief ⁣from⁤ pain ⁢caused ⁤by various conditions such ⁤as arthritis, herniated discs, or spinal stenosis. ⁣While the injection itself might temporarily alleviate pain, ​it is not uncommon to experience increased discomfort afterwards. This pain ​typically⁣ occurs due to a few factors. Firstly, the injection can cause irritation and inflammation around the nerves in the​ spine. Secondly, the‌ process of needle insertion can cause muscle soreness or local tissue trauma, leading⁣ to⁣ additional discomfort. Lastly, the steroid medication itself ⁢may cause temporary⁢ side ⁤effects that contribute to increased pain⁤ levels.

Pros⁤ and cons

Epidural steroid injections have‍ both benefits and drawbacks. On the positive side, these injections provide targeted pain relief by delivering a potent anti-inflammatory medication directly to the affected area. They can decrease swelling and inflammation, ​providing long-lasting relief to individuals suffering from chronic ⁤pain. Moreover, ESIs are‌ generally⁤ non-surgical and⁢ lower-risk procedures. However, on the negative side, ⁤these injections can lead to temporary spikes in⁢ pain levels,‌ especially in⁢ the first few days following the procedure. It’s important to weigh the ‌potential⁢ benefits against the potential risks ​and consult with your ​healthcare⁢ provider to⁣ determine if an ESI is the right choice for⁤ you.

Other risks

In ​addition​ to increased pain, there‍ are other potential⁤ risks associated with‌ epidural steroid ‌injections. Some individuals⁤ may experience temporary numbness or weakness in the legs, which usually subsides within a short‌ period. In rare cases, infections or allergic reactions may occur, requiring immediate medical attention. It is⁣ crucial to discuss any⁣ concerns you may have with ‌your doctor and ⁢follow their ‌post-injection instructions carefully. By being aware of⁣ the possible risks⁤ and promptly addressing any ⁤complications, you can ensure⁣ a safer and more comfortable experience.

Pain prevention

  • Avoid‌ strenuous ⁢activities and exercise for a couple of days after the injection
  • Apply ice ‍packs to the ‍injection‍ site to reduce inflammation ​and swelling
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding pain medication and any restrictions on daily activities
  • Maintain ‌good posture and practice proper body mechanics to reduce ​stress on ⁢your spine
  • Engage in gentle stretching exercises recommended by your ⁢healthcare provider


Q: Will the⁤ increased pain ‌after an epidural steroid injection⁣ be permanent?

A: No, the increased pain is typically⁤ temporary and should subside within a⁢ few days. If the pain persists or ⁤worsens, it is important ‌to contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

Q: How long does it take for an epidural steroid injection to start providing pain relief?

A: The onset of pain relief following an epidural steroid injection varies for each individual.‌ Some ⁢people ⁢may experience immediate relief, while others may need a few days or weeks for the medication to take full effect. Your doctor‍ can provide you with ⁣a better understanding based on⁣ your specific condition.

Q: Are‌ epidural steroid injections appropriate for everyone?

A: No, epidural steroid⁣ injections may not be suitable for⁢ everyone. It is⁢ important ⁣to discuss your medical history, current medications, ‍and⁣ any allergies with ⁣your healthcare ‌provider to determine⁤ if⁣ this treatment‍ option is appropriate for you. Alternative treatments ‌may be recommended in certain cases.


While⁢ it is not unusual ‌to⁤ experience increased pain after an‌ epidural steroid injection, understanding the⁤ reasons‌ behind the heightened discomfort⁢ can help ease concerns. The benefits‌ of ​targeted⁣ pain relief and decreased inflammation usually outweigh the‌ temporary discomfort. By following proper post-injection care and consulting with your healthcare provider, you can manage the pain effectively and maximize ​the ​benefits of epidural steroid injections ⁢for your specific condition.


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