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Epidural injections are targeted back pain treatments to ease chronic discomfort. The London Clinic’s world-leading orthopaedic surgeons precisely inject local anaesthetic, often with steroid medication, into the epidural space, the outermost part of the spinal canal. Epidurals can reduce back pain, decrease inflammation, ease nerve irritation, and restore movement and function.

Back pain can be debilitating and distressing, restricting your ability to work, move, and live an active life. The London Clinic has an experienced multi-disciplinary team of neurologists, spinal consultants, pain control specialists, radiologists, and physiotherapists. If back pain is affecting your quality of life, The London Clinic provides specialist back treatment in a comfortable and stress-free environment.

What are epidural injections?

Epidural injections are injections into the outermost part of the spinal canal. Under X-Ray guidance, the spinal specialist precisely injects a local anaesthetic to treat pain and a steroid to ease inflammation and reduce swelling. Epidurals are safe and effective treatments for back pain that spreads from the spine into your arm or leg. 

Epidural injections can treat chronic back pain caused by osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, and injuries. 

Who can benefit from facet joint injections?

The specialists at The London Clinic use epidural injections as part of a comprehensive treatment programme, to treat some common causes of back problems, including injuries, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory arthritis. 

They can help people suffering from two of the most common cause of back pain:

Spinal compression: The soft tissue discs between the bones in the spine can bulge out of position. These slipped or prolapsed discs cause pain and can also press on nerves leading to inflammation and damage. The nerve compression is known as radiculopathy. It's characterised by sharp shooting pain extending from the neck to the arms, or from the back into the legs and buttocks.

Spinal stenosis:  Ageing and osteoarthritis can make the spinal column narrow and restricted. This can compress the spinal cord, nerves, and nerve roots, leading to pain, weakness, and numbness. 

The London Clinic's expert orthopaedic surgeons can investigate and diagnose the underlying cause of your back pain so that they can provide the best treatment for your needs.

Treatment options

Not everyone with back pain needs an epidural, many problems resolve with rest, specialist physiotherapy, painkillers, and anti-inflammatory medication. However, if these treatments haven’t provided relief, epidural injections can help ease pain, reduce inflammation, and restore mobility.

The London Clinic offers a range of highly-specialised injection treatments to address different types of back pain: 

Facet Joint Injections are placed into the small joints between each of the spinal bones. They treat pain caused by osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, and injuries.

Sacroiliac (SI) joint injections are placed into the joint between the lower back and the pelvis. They help treat pain from the SI joint, which tends to be one-sided and affects the lower back, buttocks, and legs.

Back pain consultation at The London Clinic

Our experienced orthopaedic surgeons will assess and advise you in The London Clinic's comfortable, well-equipped consulting rooms. They will take a detailed medical history, examine your back, and ask about the impact your symptoms have on your wellbeing and lifestyle.

Your consultant may then arrange tests to diagnose your back or neck problem, before tailoring a treatment plan for your needs. The London Clinic has a state-of-the-art imaging suite offering a range of diagnostic tests. These may include:

  • MRI scanning
  • Myelography
  • Discography
  • X-Rays
  • CT scanning 

Epidural injection at The London Clinic

Your spinal specialist will perform the epidural injection as an outpatient procedure, so you will not need to stay in hospital overnight. At The London Clinic, injections are usually under local anaesthetic. However, we also offer sedation to reduce discomfort and anxiety. The expert anaesthetist gives this intravenously and monitors you throughout the procedure. You will feel relaxed but still conscious.

You will lie on your side with your knees pulled up to your chest or sit up and hunch forwards. The consultant will clean your back and numb the skin with a local anaesthetic. The consultant will then insert a fine hollow needle into your lower back.

The specialist may use X-ray guidance to ensure your safety and increase the effectiveness of the treatment. They will inject a small amount of dye through the cannula, which shows up on X-Ray, confirming the precise placement of the injection.

When the tube is in the correct position, the consultant will inject the medication. Usually, this is a steroid combination to reduce inflammation and local anaesthetic to numb the area and decrease pain. The procedure takes around 30 minutes.

Finally, the consultant will apply a plaster to cover and protect the injection site. The London Clinic team will support and monitor you as you recover.

Recovery and aftercare

Following the procedure, the clinic team will monitor your recovery. You will be able to go home when you are up and about and have passed urine. However, a friend or family member should escort you home.

You should stay off work and take it easy for 24 hours. The anaesthetic will numb the area for the first day. After this, the pain may increase before the steroids start to take effect. The team will give you painkillers to keep you comfortable during this time.

An epidural injection can reduce pain for up to three months. However, they're usually a crucial part of a holistic back pain programme. The injection reduces symptoms so that physiotherapy is more effective. 

The London Clinic’s specialist physiotherapists will give you exercises to improve your strength, spinal mobility, and stability. It is usually safe to start exercises a week after your injection. The London Clinic team is always available for support and guidance if you have any problems or concerns.

Why choose The London Clinic?

The London Clinic is dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with over 600 world-renowned consultants available to offer informed health advice and treatment.

Spanning Harley Street and Devonshire Place, The London Clinic is situated in the heart of London’s internationally-known medical district. This central location, together with state-of-the art technologies and facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, makes The London Clinic the hospital of choice for around 120,000 patients every year.

The London Clinic is an HTA licensed and JACIE accredited cancer centre with an ‘Excellent’ MacMillan Quality Environment Mark and with access to a Level 3 intensive care unit.

Offering affordable and competitive self-pay packages and expert support from Clinical Nurse Specialists and our specialised multidisciplinary team, over 98% of our patients said they would recommend The London Clinic to their friends and families.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

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