What is an Epidural Injection?

An epidural injection involves injecting local anaesthetics and steroids into an area called the epidural space, near your spinal cord. This numbs your nerves to provide pain relief. The steroids reduce inflammation and may make the pain relief last longer.

What Types of Epidural Injection are Available?

The type of epidural injection depends on where it is given.

The diagram below shows where Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar and Caudal epidural injections are administered.

What are the Benefits of an Epidural Injection?

An epidural injection can give you short-term pain relief, allowing you to move around more easily.

Figure 1 - Different types of epidural injection

The Procedure

What Does the Procedure Involve?

An epidural injection usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Your doctor will insert a needle and inject the anaesthetic. Your doctor will then remove the needle.

What Complications Can Happen?

  • Failure of the epidural
  • Worsening pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Temporary leg or arm weakness
  • Backache
  • Seizures
  • Unexpected high block
  • Infection around your spine
  • Nerve injury
  • Blood clot around your spine
Nurse and Patient


An epidural injection can be used for most people, usually giving a safe and effective form of pain relief.


If you would like to receive more information on Epidural Injections at New Victoria Hospital or to make an appointment, please call our Outpatient Department on 020 8949 9020 or:

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