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 ), such as from lumbar spinal stenosis , cervical spinal stenosis, herniated disc , and foraminal encroachment, causes back pain that goes down the leg. Epidural injection is also used as a minimally invasive procedure to treat nerve compression in the neck (cervical spine), referred to as cervical radiculopathy , which causes pain.
T here are obstetrical situations in which an epidural promotes a healthier labor and thus indirectly helps the baby. But there are instances when an ill-timed epidural interferes with the normal progress of labor and therefore may negatively affect the baby. Before you take a leap of faith and sign the consent forms, obtain information from reliable sources about the safety of any drug or procedure for you and your baby, and learn exactly what it will do for you.