A lumbar injection is an epidural steroid injection that releases anti-inflammatory medicine directly into the spine. A lumbar injection can alleviate:
- Muscle weakness
To understand these injections and how they can help resolve back pain, you have to first understand how the spine works.
The spinal column is the critical connective infrastructure along your back. The bony spinal column supports your body, allowing you to walk and move freely. In most people, the spine resembles an S-shape and is composed of:
- 33 stacked vertebral bones (the spinal canal)
- Nerves within the spinal canal branch out to your extremities and connect to your brain, serving as a critical communications network between your head and the rest of the body
- Cartilage surrounds each vertebra and is a slippery connective tissue that allows these small bones to move against each other
- Intervertebral disks cushion the bones of the spine
- Soft tissues hold everything together
There are five distinct sections of the spine:
- Cervical (the neck)
- Thoracic (middle of the back)
- Lumbar (the lower back)
- Sacrum (the hip bone area)
- Coccyx (tailbone)
Although the spinal system is sturdy enough to hold you up, it is also prone to injuries and age-related degeneration, which can damage the bones and tissue.
At 51, Jan was experiencing some of the typical signs of an aging spine, causing her pain and limiting her movements. Arthritis, which is a type of inflammation, can add to the pain of a worn-out back.
The lumbar spine plays an important role in your mobility. It serves to:
- Facilitate flexion and extension, as well as bending and twisting motions
- Protect the nerves of the back and the spinal cord
- Stabilize the upper half of the body