11 doctors weighed in:
How long does it usually take for an epidural steroid injection to alleviate a herniated disk to take effect?
11 doctors weighed in

Dr. Brian Le
Pain Management
4 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Brian Le
Dr. Brian Le
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Dr. Chris Faubel
Pain Management
2 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Chris Faubel
Dr. Chris Faubel
Thank
Dr. Paul Slosar
Orthopedic Surgery
2 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Paul Slosar
Dr. Paul Slosar
Thank
1 comment
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Even if the first one fails, it is not unreasonable to repeat the injection. If both fail, then other tratments need to be employed.
Dr. Jeffrey Glaser
Pain Management
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Jeffrey Glaser
Dr. Jeffrey Glaser
Thank
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