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A 25-year-old member asked:

How long does it usually take for an epidural steroid injection to alleviate a herniated disk to take effect?

6 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paul Slosar
Orthopedic Surgery 33 years experience
3-5 days: Sometimes patients report improvement later (1-2 weeks) but most notice improvement earlier. If it does not work by the 2nd week then it is not going to do any good.
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Pain Management 27 years experience
Even if the first one fails, it is not unreasonable to repeat the injection. If both fail, then other tratments need to be employed.
Feb 1, 2012
Dr. Jeffrey Glaser
Pain Management 25 years experience
48-72 Hours: Epidural steroids work by locally depositing steroid (an anti-inflammatory) in and around an area of inflammation causing nerve root compression resulting in pain. The steroid usually takes 48-72hrs to take effect and works for about 2 weeks. Sometimes 1-3 injections is enough to work not only palliatively, but also therapeutically to improve pain from nerve impingement.
Dr. Brian Le
Dr. Brian Leanswered
Pain Management 17 years experience
Steroid injection: The steroid injection takes a few days to be effective. The level of relief depends on the severity of your conditions. The duration also varies.
Dr. Chris Faubel
Pain Management 14 years experience
Tricky: An epidural steroid injection may provide immediate relief just after the procedure if a numbing medication is mixed with the steroid; this will wear off in 3-4 hours typically. The steroid takes 2-4 days to kick in, but some people don't notice it for over a week. You may get partial relief or it may be excellent, but come right back and another epidural may be needed.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management 17 years experience
3-4 days: Initially it can take 3-4 days for the steroid to provide relief but that effect may take up to 10-14 days in some people. It is not uncommon to hear patient say it took two weeks to get relief.
Dr. Chris Faubel
Pain Management 14 years experience
Tricky: An epidural steroid injection may provide immediate relief just after the procedure if a numbing medication is mixed with the steroid; this will wear off in 3-4 hours typically. The steroid takes 2-4 days to kick in, but some people don't notice it for over a week. You may get partial relief or it may be excellent, but come right back and another epidural may be needed.

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Similar questions

A 36-year-old member asked:

How long does it usually take for an epidural steroid injection to alleviate the pain of a herniated disk?

5 doctor answers22 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sharad Rajpal
Neurosurgery 19 years experience
Depends: Epidural injections can be done with a variety of medications, including steroids and/or local anesthetic. Some people have instant benefit, whereas others develop an improvement over some time (potentially up to 2 weeks before getting relief). Part of this is due to the medication "cocktail" used and the pathology of the area.

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Last updated Jun 29, 2019

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