In many cases, the initial therapies for cervical radiculopathy are ineffective. Epidural steroid injection may benefit patients who would otherwise suffer with the kind of lasting pain that would sometimes necessitate surgical treatment. The procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting using fluoroscopy (x-ray guidance). A trained specialist will use an MRI scan and physical exam to identify to suspected area of injury. Under fluoroscopic guidance, a needle can be directed - in most cases under local anesthesia alone - to the target site.
The membrane covering the spine and nerve roots is called the dura. The space surrounding the dura is the epidural space. An epidural injection places anti-inflammatory medicine into the epidural space to decrease inflammation of the nerve roots, reducing pain and hopefully aiding the healing process. It may provide permanent relief or pain relief for several months while the injury/cause is healing.
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Lying in bed on your back without a pillow is one way to relieve the pressure on the nerve. While the relief isn’t always instant, the reduced pressure may help the swelling of the nerve go down and then slip back into proper placement.
Other treatments may involve physical or occupational therapy. Pain relief treatments can help you deal with that pain while waiting for the nerve to not longer be compressed through natural healing or by other treatments your doctor prescribes. One method that has had great results for patients seeking relief is the cervical transforminal epidural steroid injection.