A lumbar epidural steroid injection (lumbar ESI) is an injection of anti-inflammatory medicine — a steroid or corticosteroid — into the epidural space around the spinal nerves in your low back.
The main goal of lumbar epidural steroid injections is to manage chronic pain caused by irritation and inflammation of the spinal nerve roots in your low back (the lumbar region of your spine) due to certain conditions or injuries. This type of chronic pain is called lumbar radiculopathy (radicular pain), which can radiate down from your low back to your hips, legs and/or feet.
You will likely have your lumbar epidural steroid injection in a hospital or an outpatient clinic. In most cases, a lumbar ESI takes 15 to 30 minutes. It’s important to be very still during this procedure.
There are different ways your healthcare provider can access the epidural space around your spinal cord in your low back, which include: