At the Diamond Headache Clinic, we offer a range of treatment options to help you manage your headache condition. Our specialists may recommend an epidural injection for migraine as part of your treatment plan. The goal of the headache epidural procedure is to relieve your headache pain so you can get back to living your life.
What is an Epidural Injection?
An epidural injection is a means of delivering a steroid (cortisone) directly into the epidural space in the spine. Additional fluids such as a local anesthetic or saline solution may be added to help flush out inflammatory agents that may be contributing to your pain.
How Does It Work?
Cortisone, a powerful anti-inflammatory medication, reduces the inflammation that causes headache pain. The addition of a local anesthetic provides pain relief and also helps to dilute immunological agents that promote inflammation. Saline may be added to dilute the local anesthetic or as a flushing agent to dilute immunological agents, thus blocking inflammation.
A headache epidural injection usually takes from 15 to 30 minutes. While the patient lies on his or her stomach on an X-ray table, the skin around the injection site is numbed with lidocaine, a local anesthetic. Using fluoroscopy (an “X-ray movie”) for guidance, your physician injects steroids into the epidural space in your spine, which is the area that lies between the bony vertebral column and the dura (covering) of the spinal cord. An epidural for migraine or other headache pain is typically not uncomfortable; however, sedation is available for extremely anxious patients.
Recovery takes approximately 45 minutes. You will be monitored carefully for 15 to 25 minutes before being discharged. You will be advised to rest on the day of the injection; you may resume normal activities the following day.
The epidural steroid injection provides pain relief for a period ranging from one week to one year. It is especially beneficial for patients during episodes of acute pain, allowing the patient to progress with his or her customized long-term treatment plan. If the initial injection is effective, you may receive up to three injections in a one-year period.