New Brunswick is a small city in New Jersey. It is a relatively diverse city known as ‘The Healthcare City’ and has many anesthesiologists. Epidural injections in New Brunswick are used to treat chronic pain issues. Epidural injections are one of the most common procedures performed by anesthesiologists in clinical practice. These injections are usually not directly related to the airway, but their final goal is to produce some neural blockade to spare the brain some painful stimulus. The following are the conditions that an epidural injection can address.
The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers and maintain normal spinal alignment, allowing for flexibility and mobility. The herniation usually occurs because of a trauma or excessive pressure on the spine, making the nucleus slip out through its annulus (the cartilage layer). The slipped disc is usually a result of advanced age and weakened intervertebral discs. Herniated discs cause chronic pain in the lower back or leg but can also affect the arms. It mainly results from degenerative changes associated with aging, not to be confused with traumatic conditions that are more common in people under 40 years old. Epidural injections are usually used as a temporary measure before surgery.
Spinal stenosis is a common cause of chronic low back pain. As with herniated discs, this condition also results from degenerative changes in the spine and is most commonly seen in elderly patients. When spinal stenosis occurs, it narrows the openings where the spinal cord passes through to exit the vertebrae, which puts pressure on the nerves and results in chronic pain. Spinal stenosis usually affects individuals over 50 years old, even though younger patients may suffer from it as well. Treatment includes epidural injections to relieve pain or other treatments such as lumbar decompression surgery if required.
A disc bulge is another form of a herniated disc that occurs when the gel-like center of a spinal disc (nucleus pulposus) extends beyond its normal boundaries and becomes “bulged” against an adjacent spinal vertebra. It is one of the most common reasons people seek epidural injections since it is often mistaken for sciatica or disc disease. It can also cause chronic low back pain and requires an epidural injection to relieve the pain.
Back and Leg Injuries
Back and leg injuries usually make patients suffer from a sharp pain, accompanied by neurological symptoms such as weakness, numbness, or loss of sensation in the legs. Usually, these symptoms are short-term; however, if they persist for more than three months after the initial back injury, they are considered chronic. If this happens, the patient should take epidural injections to relieve pain.
Neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain that results from damage or illness affecting the nervous system. It may be difficult for you to pinpoint the exact cause. Still, common examples are nerve injuries due to car accidents or surgeries that result in peripheral neuropathies, diabetic neuropathy, shingles, phantom pain after an amputation, etc. Neuromas are another example of neuropathic pain that occurs when nerve fibers develop in abnormal growths or tumor-like masses that put pressure on the surrounding nerves causing chronic pain. The treatment for these conditions usually includes epidural injections and medication such as opioids.
Epidural injections are usually used as a temporary measure to relieve some chronic pain conditions. The treatment is done by injecting an anesthetic and steroid medication via the low back area to inhibit the nerve signals that cause pain in the treated area. The above conditions are some of the reasons for epidural injections to be used.