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The injection can be done in your doctor's office, but it is sometimes done in a hospital or surgery center. You’ll be asked to fill out some forms, including a consent form. You may also be examined. You may be given an IV (intravenous) line for fluids and medications.
Before treatment, tell your doctor what medications you take (including aspirin). Ask whether you should stop taking any of them before treatment.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or allergic to any medications.
Stop eating or drinking 8 hours before you check in for your injection.
If asked, bring X-rays, MRIs, or other tests with you to your treatment.
To help you relax, medication may be given through the IV line. You will lie on an exam table on your stomach or side, or sit in a chair. Stay as still as you can. During your treatment:
The skin over the injection site is cleaned. A local anesthetic (pain medication) numbs the skin.
Fluoroscopy (X-ray imaging) may be used to help your doctor see where the injection needs to go. A contrast “dye” may be injected into the region to help obtain a better image.
The cervical epidural injection is given. It may contain a local anesthetic to numb the region, steroids (medications that reduce inflammation), or both.
Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, nausea, severe headaches, increased arm weakness or numbness, problems swallowing, or a severe increase in pain.
Most often, you can go home in about an hour. Have an adult friend or relative drive you. When the anesthetic wears off, your neck may feel more sore than usual. This is normal. Rest and put ice on the area for 20 minutes a few times during the first day. The steroids most often begin to work within a few days. Ask your doctor when it’s okay to return to your job.
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