Is A Caudal The Solution To Back Pain?
Lower back pain is a common, chronic issue, affecting 1 in 4 American adults. Most cases are often spinal-related due to degenerative discs, spinal stenosis, or sciatica. A caudal is a non-surgical option to help reduce pain and discomfort caused by these conditions. A doctor or other medical expert injects medication into the epidural space. The drug reduces pain and inflammation by blocking nerve signals to the brain. Here are 4 other facts all patients should know before the injection.
1. Caudal injections are safe
An injection in the lower back sounds like risky business. Yet, caudal injections are safe, effective treatments. The injection happens in the space that contains the spinal fluid. Caudal injections also have minimal risks. These risks are often bleeding at the injection site, infection, numbness, soreness, or headaches. Before the procedure, the doctor will discuss possible risks and any needed treatment options.
2. They are minimally invasive
Caudal injections do not require extensive downtime. The procedure takes just a few minutes and can happen at an outpatient facility. The patient will lie face down on an operating table. The doctor or radiologist numbs the area and then uses imaging technology to guide the needle. Within a few minutes, the medicine is administered in the epidural space. Minimally invasive also means fewer complications and higher success rates.
3. Caudals have high success rates
Most patients choosing a caudal will see favorable results. The relief should happen immediately or within a few hours. The success rates depend on the strength of medication and the severity of the condition. Studies on patients with spinal stenosis saw 87% report an immediate improvement.
4. You may need more than one
Some patients will see immediate, long-term relief after one shot. For others, multiple injections are necessary for the best results. The injections are spread out over several months. On average, doctors will not give more than 3 injections per year.
Another fantastic benefit
Caudal injections are excellent for reducing pain, allowing patients to move and perform everyday tasks again. However, the injection has another useful benefit. With a caudal, a doctor can identify the exact nerve or source of back pain. The medication is usually a mixture of anesthesia and corticosteroid. Most caudal injections are done with patient participation, as the patient can identify changes in pain in the operating room. If there is a significant reduction in pain, the doctor can identify the nerve roots causing the issue. This simple step helps doctors create a long-term plan, which may include surgery.
A safe, non-surgical option
Doctors and patients often prefer to avoid surgery for lower back conditions. Caudal injections are an effective, non-surgical option. Patients can get long-term relief to perform everyday activities. The injection also gives patients enough support to undergo other procedures like physical therapy or hot and cold therapy. Patients should discuss with a doctor if these epidural injections can help with pain management.