Caudal epidural steroid injections involves injecting a steroid into the epidural space, where the irritated nerve roots are located. The caudal steroid injection is performed through the sacral opening and is used to treat low back pain. This injection includes both a long-lasting steroid and an anesthetic (Lidocaine, Bupivacaine). The steroid reduces inflammation and irritation, while the anesthetic interrupts the pain-spasm cycle and nociceptor transmission (Boswell 2007). The medicines spread to the most painful levels of the spine, reducing inflammation and irritation. The entire procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes.
An epidural steroid injection involves bathing an inflamed nerve root in steroids (potent anti-inflammation medicine) in order to decrease the irritation of the nerve root that is causing pain. Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. Irritation of a spinal nerve in the low back (lumbar radiculopathy) causes pain that goes down the leg. Epidural injections also are used to treat nerve compression in the neck (cervical spine), referred to as cervical radiculopathy.