‘Epidural’ refers to the space surrounding the outer protective covering of the spinal cord. An injection into the epidural space can help to relieve back pain or sciatica at least in the short term. This period of pain relief may allow them to become more active, which is crucial to recovery from chronic back pain. The epidural injection consists of a steroid, a local anaesthetic or a combination of the two. The steroid is used to calm inflammation.
It can take up to a week for the full benefits of an epidural injection to be felt. The effects of a successful injection can last anything from a few weeks to several months.