What is a cervical or thoracic epidural steroid injection?

An epidural steroid injection is a procedure in which your doctor injects steroid medication into the epidural space. The epidural space is located inside the bony spinal canal but outside the tube that holds the spinal fluid. It extends from the base of the skull to the base of the spine.


The goal of a cervical or thoracic epidural steroid injection is to decrease neck or upper extremity pain caused by one or more compressed or inflamed spinal nerves in the neck (cervical spine) or middle back (thoracic spine). The steroid usually starts to work two days to two weeks after the injection. The pain relief varies for each individual, from no relief to long-term pain relief.