Cervical epidural steroid injection procedures are injections administered to relieve pain in the neck, shoulders and arms caused by a pinched nerve or inflamed nerve(s) in the cervical spine. Conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis or arthritis can compress and pinch nerves, causing inflammation and pain. The cervical epidural steroid injection procedure involves injections into the surrounding area that help with pinched nerve pain management and decrease the swelling of the inflamed or pinched nerve(s), in addition to reducing inflammation. Although rare, risks of the cervical epidural steroid injection procedure may include infection, allergic reaction to the medication, spinal headache, nerve damage, and prolonged increase in pain.
Radiculopathy occurs when something irritates a spinal nerve—say a “slipped disc” causing a pinched nerve. This is also called sciatica . There are resident stem and other cells in the local tissues everywhere in our body. Many live around blood vessels. These are obviously also present in the disc and nerves in the epidural space and they usually play an important role in suppressing inflammation and repairing damage. We know, based on a copious in vitro (lab) data, that the high-dose steroids used in epidural injections can kill these cells. So the progression of the series of epidural steroid injections looks a little something like this: