Otherwise known as a type of Epidural Steroid, Caudal Steroid injections are commonly used to treat extreme leg and lower back pain. The cause of this lower back pain is where the nerves in the spine experience inflammation – this causes severe pain as the nerves move out of the spine through very narrow passages.
It is the injection into the epidural area at the bottom of the spinal cord. The steroid’s job is to decrease inflammation. People who most commonly have a Caudal Steroid Injection are those who have experienced prolonged pain after an operation or after pregnancy.
It can be caused by a variety of issues, including:
These are the most common causes of narrowed passages leading a person to need Caudal Steroid Injections.
1. You will be asked to lie on your side or your front (whichever causes the least pain.)
2. A local anesthetic will be given to numb the skin and an x-ray machine is used to monitor where the needle should be placed.
3. The Caudal Steroid Injection targets the opening of the bone (directly above the tailbone).
4. The steroid will spread through the spine and should eliminate the source of the problem.
On average it takes 3 days, however, it can take longer than a week sometimes to begin working. Each person is different and therefore will react differently in the healing process.
1. Do NOT drive after the procedure as your lower back is often used while using the pedals when driving.
2. Do NOT try to do any activities – limit what you do as much as possible. For example, try not to walk up stairs and try not to lift anything even moderately heavy.
3. Meetings can always be arranged as a check-up so your doctor can see how your body is reacting to the injections.
4. If you are struggling with physical exercise then you should see a physiotherapist, practice walking up and down a hallway (not up and down stairs until you are fully healed.)
A common side effect is a “flush” which is a significant increase in temperature, which can last for up to 7 days. If the “flush” lasts any longer then contact your doctor.
Other side effects include fatigue, feeling lightheaded, tender skin, insomnia and unstable periods.
There are some rare side effects such as permanent spine damage and nerve damages, which would require special assistance. However, the majority of patients have reported that the side effects are so harmless that they can easily be tamed by using painkillers.