Epidural injections can be performed from several different approaches; these include a caudal, interlaminar, or transforaminal approach. The approach your provider chooses is based on each individual patient’s clinical presentation, the personal preference and experience of the provider performing the injection, the desired outcome, and most importantly, the risks versus benefits of performing one type of epidural over another. Clinically, the purpose of all epidural injections is to place a mixture of steroid and local anesthetic at the source of the problem to decrease inflammation causing pain, and to promote healing and clinical improvement. The epidural steroid injection involves placing steroid medication in the inflamed area and significantly reduces nerve irritation thus improving pain. This treatment option has the potential to completely resolve pain and ultimately may prevent operative treatment.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you might think perhaps you should rest your feet, but it’s actually better for you to keep on the move. Plantar fasciitis affects the band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes, and can cause stabbing pains when walking. A treatment for it is to keep moving, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Keep your mileage and speed down if you begin experiencing pain, and place an ice pack under your foot for 15 minutes after you’ve finished walking. An alternative is to roll a frozen bottle of water under your foot for 10 to 15 minutes instead. Adding support to your foot can also help, so using an insole in your shoe or wrapping your foot with athletic tape is also recommended. To find out more about this, read this guide to Walking With Plantar Fasciitis .
This is a rare complication that may occur if a small hole is made in the fibrous sac and does not close up after the needle puncture. These small holes are only made in less than 1% of epidural injections and usually heal on their own. The spinal fluid inside can leak out, and when severe, the brain loses the cushioning effect of the fluid, which causes a severe headache when you sit or stand. These types of headaches occur typically about 2-3 days after the procedure and are positional - they come on when you sit or stand and go away when you lie down. If you do develop a spinal headache, it is OK to treat yourself. As long as you do not feel ill and have no fever and the headache goes away when you lay down, you may treat yourself with 24 hours of bed rest with bathroom privileges while drinking plenty of fluids. This almost always works. If it does not, contact the radiologist who performed the procedure or your referring physician. A procedure (called an epidural blood patch) can be performed in the hospital that has a very high success rate in treating spinal headaches.