Non-Surgical Options for Chronic or Severe Back Pain

Non-Surgical Options for Chronic or Severe Back Pain

An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a non-surgical treatment for neck, back and/or leg pain. The interventional radiologists at Minneapolis Vein Center provide this image-guided, minimally invasive pain management procedure to assist in reducing the inflammation and irritation of the nerve root with the use of steroids that is injected into the spine. ESIs also provide specialists a valuable diagnostic tool in evaluating surgical candidates. Epidural steroid injections may provide pain relief for a wide variety of conditions that cause neck, back or leg pain, including:

  • Sciatica
  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Vertebral compression fractures

What to Expect During an Epidural Steroid Injection

Pain injections are performed with the use of fluoroscopy for precise placement of the injection. During the procedure, a solution containing cortisone (a steroid) and a local anesthetic (lidocaine) is injected into the epidural space in the spine. The anesthetic is a temporary pain reliever that works quickly. The steroid helps to reduce inflammation, which will also help to reduce pain.

Depending on where your pain is located, the injection will be placed into the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle) or lumbar (lower) level of the spine. By delivering the medication directly to the pain source, pain relief can be significantly better than with oral anti-inflammatories or pain reducers, which provide a more general pain relief.

After Your Epidural Steroid Injection at Minneapolis Vein Center

You may experience numbness for up to 12 hours following your injection. The desired effects of the steroidal medication usually occur within 48-72 hours but may take as long as one week. Occasionally, it may take more than one injection to obtain full pain relief. If there is no change in patient symptoms after injections, investigation into other potential sources for the pain may be beneficial. If an ESI is effective for you, you may have up to three injections per year if needed.


ESI is a very safe procedure with few risks but it is possible to experience some negative effects including headache, bleeding, infection, allergic reaction, nerve damage, or “steroid flush,” a temporary flushing of the face and chest accompanied by a feeling of warmth.

Epidural Steroid Injections at Minneapolis Vein Center

At MVC, interventional radiologists perform all epidural steroid injection procedures. Interventional radiologists are experts in performing image-guided procedures using minimally invasive techniques, which allow you to avoid surgery and get back to living your life sooner. To learn more, or make your appointment, call us at 763-398-8710.


Contact Us


Minneapolis Vein Center
2800 Campus Drive, Suite 20
Plymouth, MN 55441
Phone: (763) 398-8710
Fax: (763) 398-8711

Office Hours

Monday – Friday
7:00 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday – Sunday