An accident at your Georgia workplace may cause you to suffer an injury that puts you in pain, limits your quality of life, or affects your movement. In some cases, you may need a medical procedure to help with your recovery, such as an epidural steroid injection.
Whether your injury occurred over time or during an accident at work, it’s essential to accurately connect it to your employment history and make sure that your Georgia employer and their insurance give you the benefits you deserve and cover the procedures that you need.
While this can be a difficult process, one of our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group can assist you in overcoming these challenges and getting your care covered.
What are Epidural Steroid Injections?
Epidural steroid injections are a common treatment for chronic low back pain, sciatica, neck pain, and other spinal injuries. These injections typically contain cortisone, although may use a selection of other steroids with similar properties. Epidural steroid injections are used primarily to reduce inflammation, which helps reduce irritation of spinal structures and can provide moderate-to-long-lasting relief from symptoms of your spinal injury.
Epidural steroid injections involve the administration of corticosteroids directly into the epidural space in the spine. In many cases, the corticosteroid is combined with an anesthetic and injected into the epidural space between the protective covering of the spinal cord (the dura mater) and vertebral body (the bony part of the spinal column). The procedure involves numbing the area with a local anesthetic prior to injection, causing only minimal discomfort during the injection.
In many cases, epidural steroid injections are a very quick procedure that can be performed in an outpatient clinic in less than an hour. However, you must have someone to stay with you and drive you home. Many people report this procedure to be very easy, relatively painless, and effective for a variety of injuries.
What Are Steroid Injections Used For?
Epidural Steroid Injections work by reducing inflammation in the affected area, thus relieving pain associated with nerve root compression or irritation to other structures. These injections may also decrease swelling within soft tissues around the nerve root that can cause further irritation and discomfort. In many cases, these localized injection treatments help alleviate symptoms such as back and neck stiffness due to nerve root injuries, or even joint irritation due to chronic conditions such as arthritis.
When used correctly, epidural steroid injections can help reduce chronic pain from disorders including herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy (nerve damage) and whiplash. These injections are generally safe for long-term use when administered by a qualified medical professional using sterile technique. However, it is often recommended to limit the frequency of injections as they can slow the body’s natural ability to heal.
Are Epidural Steroid Injections Safe?
There are some risks associated with steroid injections. For example, people receiving long-term corticosteroid therapy may be at risk for certain side effects including bone loss or muscle atrophy (shrinking) from cortisone therapy. This is because cortisone and other steroids inhibit your body’s natural inflammation response, which is a crucial part of the body’s healing process. Inflammation is also important for stimulating growth in your muscles and bones, which helps maintain their normal size and strength.
Generally, doctors limit cortisone doses to avoid these adverse effects. Generally speaking, a doctor trained in cortisone injections will not recommend receiving steroid injections more than once every three months, or less if possible. It’s important to discuss your individual risks with your doctor before undergoing any cortisone treatments like epidurals or oral steroid medications. as they may increase your risk of infection or other complications if not used properly and monitored regularly by an experienced medical professional.
Will I Need Other Treatments?
In most cases, epidural steroid injections are used to reduce pain and disability associated with injuries of your neck or back. It is very common for your doctor to also recommend treatments such as physical therapy or guided exercise. This is because after a steroid injection, you will be more able to participate in activities that will help you address the root of your injury and recover more easily. In physical therapy, your therapist will help guide you through strengthening and conditioning exercises that promote healthy function of your spine, with the ultimate goal of returning to your work and recreation activities.
It’s important for patients considering epidural steroid injections to ask their doctor about their opinion on administering them, and any alternatives that could potentially help relieve their symptoms without cortisone therapy. Although steroid injections are effective at relieving symptoms, alternative therapies may be safer overall depending on the individual and their specific goals for symptom relief or physical activity.
Overall, epidural steroid injections can be an effective way to provide relief from back and neck pain, nerve injuries, spinal stenosis, and other forms of spinal injuries. However this procedure should only be used after consulting with a qualified medical provider about its benefits versus risks in each unique case.
Ensuring that you get the care you receive for your injury covered by your employer may require legal help. Understanding your injury early on, knowing which treatment is right for you, and finding the best legal help possible are all essential components to your successful recovery.
Contact an Atlanta Injury Lawyer
Gearhart Law Group represents victims of work-related injuries and assists them in receiving workers’ compensation benefits. We understand how your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance companies try to save money by either denying your claim or by underpaying your claim. We know how to fight any objections they may have and pursue all the Georgia workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call us now so we can evaluate your individual case and advise you of your next legal steps as well as ensuring you are receiving the best medical care for your injuries.