When a patient complains of persistent, distracting neck and upper back pain, one non-surgical treatment option that may be considered is the injection of a corticosteroid epidural into the area of pain. Corticosteroids are very strong, slow-dispersing anti-inflammatory medications that can temporarily reduce nerve pain related to a variety of issues in the upper spine/neck area. Occasionally, the corticosteroid will be injected in tandem with a narcotic to increase the strength of the pain-relief. Although this is considered a short-term solution, the pain relief is generally longer lasting than treatments like ice or heat therapy.

Neck injections may be recommended to treat pain for cervical spinal conditions such as:

  • General cervical disc degeneration
  • Herniated (or “ruptured”) cervical discs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Pinched or inflamed nerves

While some patients may feel initially discomforted by the idea of having something injected into their neck, epidural and narcotic injections are quite common and perfectly safe. In addition to providing much needed relief from pain and other symptoms, the injections can help confirm the exact source of the pain. If the pain is relieved by an injection in a particular location, it is clear that the recipient nerve root is the culprit.

Epidural neck injections should not be considered a cure for cervical spinal pain, and should not be overused due to potential risks associated with overexposure to corticosteroid medications. Neck injections are, however, a great treatment option to pair with long-term solutions like physical therapy and strengthening exercise.

If you are experiencing frustrating neck pain from one of the listed conditions (or a similar condition) and would like to discuss the possibility of receiving neck injections to alleviate your symptoms, contact our clinic to speak with Dr. Neece and his expert staff about whether this treatment is a good choice for you.