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Epidural Specialist

Keith Schmidt, MD -  - Pain Management

Keith Schmidt, MD

Pain Management & Chronic Pain Specialist located in Hoffman Estates, IL & Carol Stream, IL

An epidural is an injection best known for alleviating labor pain during childbirth, but it also helps those suffering from chronic pain. Triple board-certified pain management specialist Keith Schmidt, MD, at Ascension Comprehensive Pain Management Program offers epidural injections to alleviate discomfort for those suffering from chronic pain. To learn more about an epidural and how it may benefit you, contact the office in Hoffman Estates or Carol Stream, Illinois, by phone or schedule an appointment online today.

Epidural Q & A

What is an epidural?

An epidural is an anesthetic injection placed in your spine’s epidural space, which is the open space outside the membrane that protects your spinal cord.

Doctors administer epidural injections to alleviate pain during childbirth and surgical procedures. However, interventional pain management specialists like Dr. Schmidt offer it to help those suffering from a chronic pain condition. 

When given in lower doses, an epidural injection provides pain relief without affecting your ability to carry out your day-to-day activities. Dr. Schmidt may combine the anesthetic with a steroid to numb the area, reduce inflammation, and provide long-term pain relief.

Am I a good candidate for an epidural?

When you come in for a pain management consultation at Ascension Comprehensive Pain Management Program, Dr. Schmidt conducts a thorough evaluation to determine the best treatment to control your pain.

He may consider you a candidate for an epidural injection if you have chronic pain from:

  • A herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Failed back surgery
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched nerve

Though an epidural may alleviate your chronic pain condition, Dr. Schmidt only recommends the treatment if other less invasive therapies failed to provide the relief you need. 

What happens during an epidural?

The details of your epidural may depend on your diagnosis. Dr. Schmidt reviews what you can expect at your consultation. 

During your epidural, Dr. Schmidt has you lie on an exam table on your stomach. He cleans and sterilizes your skin at the site of your epidural and administers a local anesthetic to numb it.

Dr. Schmidt then inserts the epidural needle into your spine using X-ray guided imaging. He injects a contrast dye to improve visualization of the nerves and slowly administers the medication.

After the injection, Dr. Schmidt moves you to the recovery area for observation and then sends you home. He recommends you arrange to have someone drive you home after your injection.

What can I expect after my epidural?

You may experience some numbness in the hours following your epidural, and Dr. Schmidt recommends you take it easy for the rest of the day. 

Pain relief from an epidural isn’t immediate, but you should notice an improvement in your discomfort within 48 hours of the injection. The effects of your epidural may last several days or a few weeks. Dr. Schmidt may suggest a series of epidural injections to get the most benefits.

To get relief from your pain, contact Ascension Comprehensive Pain Management Program by phone or book an appointment online today.