Is There a Recovery Period with Epidural Spinal Injections?

If you are wondering whether there is a recovery period following an epidural spinal injection – the answer is yes.

Epidural spinal injections are non-invasive outpatient procedures, but they still come with some side effects and downtime. Fortunately, the recovery period is short and manageable for the majority of patients and the relief they get from the shot is well worth the process.

Epidural spinal injections have been in use for decades and are safe and effective. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect during the recovery period after your injection.

Downtime

There is not much downtime required following an epidural steroid injection. You should rest for the remainder of the day following your procedure but may return to normal activities the next day.

In addition, you likely won’t be able to drive or sign any important documents on the day of your procedure. You can take your normal medications after your injection.

As your pain improves, you can return to your regular exercise routine while practicing moderation. You should gradually increase your activities over one to two weeks to prevent your pain from reoccurring.

 

Numbness

One of the most common side effects of epidural spinal injections is numbness. This is from the local anesthesia used and shouldn’t be anything to worry about. Numbness and tingling should fade as the anesthetic wears off, usually within a few hours.

 

Pain at the Injection Site

Some patients do experience an initial increase in their pain in the affected area after their injection. This occurs when the local anesthetic wears off but the steroids haven’t yet taken effect.

This pain can last for a few days. You can expect improvements from the steroid kicking in within 10 days after your injection. In fact, you may experience the first signs of relief within the first few days.

In the meantime, there are some things you can do during this recovery period to speed up the healing process and minimize side effects.

  • Apply an ice pack to the area to temporarily relieve pain and soreness (ice is usually more helpful than heat in this situation)
  • Limit physical activity until the pain goes away
  • Take over the counter pain medication like Tylenol for short-term relief

It is recommended to keep a pain diary so your doctor has a record of your pain relief over the week following your injection. This will help your doctor determine what other treatments or tests may be needed.

 

Learn More About Epidural Spinal Injections

Are you interested in learning more about epidural spinal injections or wondering if this treatment option is right for you? We are here to help. We are a team of spine specialists that perform epidural spinal injections and offer many other treatment options to help you with your back pain.

Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

We can get you feeling better in no time!

Florida Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Anthony P. Moreno received his Bachelor’s and Medical degrees from the University of Florida, where he graduated with honors. After that, he completed his orthopedic residency at Jackson Memorial Medical Center/University of Miami. Dr. Moreno has also completed a Spine Surgery Fellowship at Hahnemann/Penn. As a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Moreno is also a member of the American College of Spine Surgery and speaker. For instance, he has done many presentations around the world on spinal surgical techniques. His knowledge and expertise can help with any of the most complex spinal cases. Read more about Dr. Moreno’s education, certification and credentials here.