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Epidural vs. Traditional Cortisone Injections for Accident Pain Compared

Lingering pain from a car accident can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Luckily, there are non-surgical solutions that can alleviate accident-related pain, including back, leg, or other pain in the body. Epidural steroid injections and cortisone shots are simple outpatient procedures that provide immediate pain relief, helping you take your life back after a car accident. Read on for a comparison of these two effective treatment methods.

What Is an Epidural Steroid Injection?

An epidural steroid injection is a pain-relieving procedure that involves injecting anesthesia and a steroid medication into the epidural space—the outermost layer covering the spinal cord. This space contains spinal nerve roots, which can be twisted, crushed, or otherwise damaged during a car accident.

Often, it’s difficult to discover the nerve root that’s causing pain. During an epidural steroid injection, your doctor will use an x-ray and special dye to guide the needle into the epidural space that’s closest to your specific area of pain. A steroid is injected into the epidural space, providing lasting relief by targeting the pain at its source. Epidural steroid injections are used for painful conditions that affect the neck and back, including:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated discs
  • Pinched nerves
  • Spinal stenosis

What Is a Steroid (Cortisone) Injection?

A cortisone injection is much different than an epidural steroid injection. The doctor injects the steroid directly into the bloodstream at the injury site, or the site of inflammation. Cortisone works as an anti-inflammatory medication, rather than a pain medication. As the medicine shuts down collagen-producing cells, it suppresses inflammation while decompressing and calming nerves. In short, a cortisone injection can indirectly alleviate pain, including car accident-related pain.

Cortisone injections provide short-term pain relief from a range of painful conditions, from arthritis to tendinitis. They’re commonly used to relieve pain in the ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, and wrist joints.

Are Epidural Steroid Injections or Cortisone Injections More Effective for Treating Accident Pain?

There are benefits to both epidural steroid injections and cortisone injections, and they both provide short-term pain relief. If you’re suffering from pain and you or your doctor are finding it hard to find the source, an epidural steroid injection is likely the preferred choice. It allows doctors to target the approximate source of your pain. You may feel pain for a day or two as the anesthesia wears off. As the steroid begins taking effect, you can experience pain relief for as long as several weeks.

While neither epidural steroid injections nor cortisone injections heal the underlying cause of your pain, they reduce your symptoms. Many patients find that these injections provide enough pain relief to help them move forward with their rehabilitation program, an important step to full recovery.

Accident-Related Pain Relief Is Just a Phone Call Away

Suffering from chronic pain due to an accident? The medical team at Impact Medical Group of Brandon is standing by to help! Using the latest technology and techniques, we’ll determine the source of your pain and provide appropriate treatment methods that provide meaningful pain relief. Call us today at (813) 522-8885 to schedule your free consultation.