Epidural for pain management

A steroid injection to give pain relief

An epidural for pain management involves injecting local anaesthetic and steroids into an area near your spinal cord​


During an epidural, an anti-inflammatory medicine, such as cortisone, is injected near the nerve roots that are causing pain. It can give you very effective relief during periods of acute pain as part of a comprehensive programme which includes stretching and strengthening exercises.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    There are different types of epidural injections depending on whereabouts it is given. An epidural can reduce pain in the back or legs, and may help the injury to heal by reducing inflammation. You’ll usually be given a local anaesthetic first to number the area. Your consultant will use the latest scanning equipment to ensure the injection is guided to the correct spot. They will inject an anti-inflammatory medicine, such as cortisone, directly into the epidural space in the spine. An epidural injection usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and let you know how to prepare.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You won't need to stay overnight following an epidural injection for pain relief. It can take a up to a month before you feel the effects of the steroid. Your consultant will let you know how to gradually build up how much much you can do.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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