A caudal injection is a steriod injection to the lowest portion of the epidural space. Just like a cluneal injection and transforaminal epidural steriod injection (ESI), a caudal uses a local anesthetic and steriod injection to reduce inflammation. The caudal injection however, focuses on lower back and leg pain caused by sciatica, herniated discs, and other back problems. Like transformaminal ESI's, the caudal injection is used for the nerve roots.
You have nerves that run from your spinal cord out to your back and legs. When one of those nerve “roots” (the end closest to your spinal cord) gets irritated and inflamed due to a damaged disc or other condition, it can cause back or leg pain. The anesthetic provides immediate pain relief, and allows the steriod to work it's long term relief. In a caudal injection, the medicines will spread into the epidural and caudal spaces, reducing nerve pain and inflammation.
Patients may feel relief right after the injection, but pain can return as the local anesthetic wears off. Long term relief begins in about two to three days, the same with the above steriod injections. For most patients, pain relief lasts several months or longer, if the treatment works, you can talk to your provider about getting periodic injections and stay pain free!