This injection relieves pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms caused by a pinched nerve (or nerves) in the cervical spine. Conditions such as herniated discs and spinal stenosis can compress nerves, causing inflammation and pain. The medication injected helps decrease the swelling of nerves.
Neck pain may begin in any of the structures in the neck. These include muscles and nerves as well as spinal vertebrae and the cushioning disks in between. Neck pain may also come from regions near the neck, like the shoulder, jaw, head, and upper arms.
When your neck is sore, you may have difficulty moving it, especially to one side. Many people describe this as having a stiff neck.
If neck pain involves nerves (for example, significant muscle spasm pinching on a nerve or a slipped disk pressing on a nerve), you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm, hand, or elsewhere.
Cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injections are a non-surgical option to ease pain in the neck, shoulder and upper extremity. The neck is a vulnerable part of the spine and is susceptible to injury and degeneration. A variety of conditions can cause pinched nerves in the neck, which not only can cause pain in the neck, but pain that spreads to the shoulders and arms. Cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injections deliver medication directly to the affected area, and can be used as a diagnostic tool and as a treatment modality. Cervical transforaminal epidural injections are used to place local anesthetics and/or corticosteroids directly near the source of pain and inflammation. The medication is injected in the foramen “tunnel” that the nerve travels through from the spine. Steroid medication is used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injections are short outpatient procedures that can be administered in our office or at a surgery center. You will wear a gown for the procedure. Before you receive the epidural injection, the back of your neck will be sterilized and numbed with an anesthetic. Your doctor will use a live X-ray image (fluoroscopy) to carefully insert and guide the needle to the foramen “tunnel” of the affected nerve. A contrast dye is used to confirm the needle placement. Next, the medication solution is delivered, and the needle is removed.
You will be monitored for several minutes before you can return home. Your doctor will instruct you on how to relieve temporary mild pain at the injection site. It is possible to experience relief with just one injection; however, repeated injections may be necessary