What is a Cervical Epidural Block?
If you suffer from pain in your neck, shoulders, or arms, one option we may recommend a Cervical Epidural Injection. This simple, safe outpatient procedure decreases inflammation of the nerve roots and thus reduces your pain.
How does this help?
An epidural injection actually helps heal the underlying injury by reducing inflammation in the injured tissue. Epidurals can provide temporary relief while the injury/cause of your pain is healing or even permanent relief.
What happens during a Cervical Epidural?
We will administer an IV with medication to relax you and relieve any discomfort and scrub your upper back with a cleaning solution. You will lie on your stomach, positioned so that we can clearly visualize your neck using X-Ray guidance. We will then numb a small area of skin, use X-Ray guidance to place a small needle into the epidural space, and inject a small amount of contrast dye to ensure proper needle position. Once we are sure that the needle is in the correct location, we will inject a small mixture of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid solution. The anesthetic delivers immediate pain relief while the steroid provides long-term pain relief. You should feel little or no discomfort during this procedure.
What happens after the Cervical Epidural Block?
You will rest in the recovery area for 30-60 minutes, where my team can monitor your vital signs and level of pain. During this time, we will schedule a follow-up appointment to determine if you would benefit from an additional Epidural Block. For your own safety, you cannot drive the day of the procedure, so please plan to have someone drive you to and from your appointment. The day after the procedure, you may resume normal activities and work. We may ask you to keep a “pain diary” for the first week to record the pain relief.