Fibromyalgia pain can be difficult to live with. The pain may be concentrated in one area, or it may move around. Often, it is accompanied by stiffness or swelling in certain areas. Treatments like massage and pain relievers may give you some relief for a little while, but it does not last. If you're looking for longer-term relief, you may want to consider epidural steroid injections. Here's a closer look at these injections and how they work for fibro pain.
What are epidural steroid injections?
To put it simply, these are injections of steroids that are given in your spine. Your doctor will inject the medication in one or more of the spaces between your vertebrae. The type of steroids they use, which are known as corticosteroids, are great at relieving inflammation. By relieving inflammation, they relieve pressure on various nerves in and around your spinal cord, which can relieve your fibromyalgia pain. Your doctor will determine where to place the injections based on where you experience the most pain. For example, if you experience a lot of pain in your legs, the injections might be given in one space. If your pain mostly occurs in your arms, then your doctor may choose a different injection site.
How long does the relief last?
Epidural steroid injections are not a cure for fibro pain, but they are a long-lasting treatment. People often feel some relief right after the injection. This relief builds over the next couple of days before reaching its peak. Then, it lingers for a couple of months. You may need another shot after two months, or you may not need one for four months. It will depend on your own metabolism and the nature of your pain. People often find that each subsequent injection they get lasts a bit longer than the last.
Are there risks involved?
There are some risks involved with epidural injections. There is a risk of nerve damage, which could lead to tingling in the extremities. There is also a risk of infection. However, these risks are small. Most people who get steroid injections for fibro pain do not have any bothersome side effects and recover just fine.
To learn more about epidural steroid injections for fibro pain, reach out to a doctor at a pain management practice. They can evaluate your health and tell you if you're a good candidate for these shots. For more information on pain management, contact a professional near you.