Epidural injections are one of the most effective and fastest-working options for pain relief. It is an option at Integrated Pain Consultants, where a range of treatment options are available. However, many people are not aware of the ancient roots of epidural injections. The subarachnoid space, which is very close to the epidural space, was first realized by Egyptians during mummification processes in 3,500 BC. However, it wasn’t until centuries later that the epidural space was discovered, in the 1920s.
The first injections for lower back pain and sciatica were given in Paris at the turn of the 20th century by Jean Sicard and Fernand Cathelin. The two did not work together, but both came to the conclusion that injecting small amounts of cocaine into the sacral area might be an effective pain management tool. At the time, cocaine was widely used in many parts of the world to treat a number of issues.
The practice worked, and it began to spread around Europe and to America. By the 1950s, cocaine was replaced with corticosteroids. It was quickly adopted and has been used much in the same manner for the past 70 years. In the 1970s, a number of studies showed that an epidural injection with a corticosteroid could significantly minimize pain.
Although many people associate an “epidural” with childbirth, that’s just one instance where it can be an effective pain management tool. Epidurals for lumbar pain can be a means of treating both acute and chronic pain. Treating lower back pain is often a long-term endeavor. Avoiding dangerous medications, such as opioids, is a must for patients who require pain management beyond a few days.
Exploring safer options, which might include anything from epidurals to kyphoplasty or radiofrequency ablation, can help patients find a sustainable solution. An epidural injection is just one possibility that can be discussed during a consultation. To find out more, call Integrated Pain Consultants at 480-626-2552.