How Soon Can I Exercise After Epidural Steroid Injection ? A Doctor answer all your questions !

Many different forms of spinal disorders can be treated with epidural steroid injections. The medication is injected directly into the epidural space, which is the area around the spinal cord. If you have recently undergone surgery that needed an epidural, you might be wondering: “how soon can I exercise after epidural steroid injection?
In this post, we’ll answer that question and give you some tips on how to stay safe while exercising.

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection: What Is It?

Lumbar epidural steroid injection is an anti-inflammatory drug. Such as a steroid or corticosteroid, into the epidural area surrounding the spinal nerves in your low back is known as a lumbar epidural steroid injection.
The goal of the spinal epidural injection is to lessen pain by reducing inflammation surrounding the spinal nerves. Because patients often limit their activities owing to chronic pain, it may be tempting to move as little as possible after the injection.Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection explained by a doctor

Why Do People Get Epidural Steroid Injections?

Some people who are in excruciating agony turn to spinal epidural injections for back pain in order to find relief. Back pain therapies known as spinal injections can treat inflamed spinal nerve pain, which is frequently brought on by disc herniation or spinal stenosis.

This is a typical treatment that provides prompt relief from the discomfort that may continue for a week, a year, or more.

The problem is that patients receiving spinal epidural injections are so accustomed to feeling pain that they are unduly careful about continuing to be active out of concern that doing so may make the pain flare up again.

Epidural injections are for back pain, however, are only thought of as the initial stage of a rehabilitation procedure. Following the injection, it’s crucial to unwind for the remainder of the day before returning to your regular, non-strenuous activities the following day while adding some exercise.



How Long Does It Take For Steroid Injection To Work ? How Soon Can I Exercise After Epidural Steroid Injection ?

The pain reduction from epidural steroid injections can continue for a few days to a few months or more and begins to take effect in two to seven days, so you can start to exercise after that period.

The epidural injection is a temporary medical treatment for pain relief with the goal of enabling a person to possibly address the underlying cause of the pain or to reduce the likelihood that the pain will return with the same intensity when it is caused by weak back muscles that are accelerating the degeneration of the spine.


How Is It Done?

Under the accurate and safe direction of a fluoroscopy, steroids can be administered into your epidural space. The technique is known as a cervical epidural steroid injection when your doctor does it in the area of the spine that causes neck and arm pain.
It is known as a thoracic epidural steroid injection when it is carried out in the region of the spine that is producing mid-back, chest, or abdominal wall pain.
Finally, the treatment is known as a lumbar epidural steroid injection when it is carried out in the area of the spine that is responsible for lower back discomfort.


How Soon Can I Exercise After Epidural Steroid Injection explained

What Are The Long-Term Side Effects Of Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

Epidural steroid injections—much like any invasive operation—can potentially result in several medical problems. Here are the most common side effects:

  • Typical pain intensification for up to a week
  • Up to three days of restlessness or jitteriness
  • Low fever (less than 100 degrees)
  • Higher appetite
  • Elevated blood sugar levels in diabetics
  • Up to three days of flushing or redness
  • Higher water retention
  • Headache caused by steroids that may linger for up to a week
  • There should be no cause for alarm if you suffer any of these typical adverse effects after steroid injections. However, there are also less common side effects, namely:
  • Infection site edema, redness, or discharge. Only one percent of patients experience this uncommon consequence.
  • Tears in the dura. About half of all injections result in this. A spinal headache could be present but go away in a few days.
  • Bleeding. Patients with bleeding issues are more likely to experience this uncommon occurrence.
  • Nerve damage. There could be bleeding or nerve damage where the needle was inserted, but this is a very uncommon problem. It could also manifest in the worsening of the tingling or weakness in the arms or legs
  • High fever. A temperature of more than 100.4 along with constant chills.
  • Severe headache. Although this kind of headache gets better when you lie down.
  • You could experience anxiety, facial flushing, headaches, localized pain, insomnia, fever, stomach ulcers, cataracts, elevated blood sugar, and reduced immunity as a result of the process.


Headache After Steroid Injection

Many patients have an epidural or spinal injection prior to surgery or childbirth. Uncommonly, a certain type of headache may arise after receiving an epidural or spinal injection. This is referred to as a headache after a dural puncture. This pamphlet’s content explains the symptoms and remedies for a headache of this kind.


Leg Pain After Epidural Steroid Injection

Additionally, your injection may have contained an immediate-acting, temporary numbing agent. At first, it could make your legs feel heavy or numb. Most likely, you’ll be able to walk. But you might have to take extra precautions.
The numbing medication should stop working after a few hours.


Precautions After Epidural Steroid Injection

Immediately following an epidural injection, the doctor or medical staff would probably inquire as to your feelings. You could be asked to move your legs as well.

The medical staff will advise you when it is safe to try walking based on their knowledge.

Numbness will be the most crucial aspect in determining when you can walk. Following an epidural, your legs could feel numb. The duration of this can range from a few minutes to several hours. Inform the medical staff as soon as your legs begin to feel normal. They will assist you in determining whether walking is safe for you.

You will need to exercise caution when walking immediately following the epidural. You might be shaky and want assistance. Take it slow and watch that you don’t start out walking too far.


Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection by a surgeon in an hospital


After having an epidural, you may want to take it easy, but try not to go overboard. Keep in mind that maintaining an active lifestyle can cut back discomfort by 10% to 50%. According to a 2007 study, 59 percent of patients reported having a higher walking tolerance six weeks after receiving an epidural.

Walking gently helps you recover from an epidural. Take a 30-minute nap in a chair or on the floor, followed by a 5 to 10-minute walk. This procedure should be repeated on the first day of recuperation.
Most of the time, you are able to walk around 30 minutes after receiving an epidural injection. You might not, however, be walking normally by this time. Following an epidural injection, the majority of clinics and hospitals will keep an eye on you for 15 to 60 minutes.

You must wait a little while before walking, among other restrictions, after receiving an epidural.



Driving is prohibited following an epidural. This results from both numbness and compromised reflexes. After getting an epidural, wait at least 24 hours before driving or using any other machinery.



After getting an epidural, wait at least 24 hours before doing any strenuous activities. When it feels okay for you to exercise, you can decide if your body is capable of doing it without straining yourself. However, it is typically advised that for the first 5 days following the surgery, there should be absolutely no exercise.

After the treatment, avoid running for two weeks and gradually increase your activity level from a walk to a light jog to a run as tolerated. Running is a high-impact activity that puts 3 to 4 times your body weight on each leg at impact, putting a lot of strain on the discs. Up to 80 to 90% of those who run report experiencing back pain at some point when training. Therefore, exercise with due care and caution.

After receiving an epidural steroid injection, stretching, stabilizing, and range-of-motion exercises are advised. As the muscles in the back are strengthened, start out slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
The exercises that are recommended here are simple to perform but offer several advantages. The workouts range from the simplest to those that get progressively harder.

  • Light walking
  • Wall squats
  • Knee stretch
  • Pelvic tilts
  • Side lying leg lift

You can also engage in simple aerobic exercises like swimming, water aerobics, or stationary cycling. Stay away from activities with heavy impact, like jogging. This is merely a sample list of the recommended activities one can engage in following an epidural steroid injection. Each one is intended to gradually increase the amount of work the trunk muscles must do in order to encourage stabilization and muscle growth.



People can do more strenuous movements as their muscles grow stronger over time. When recovering from epidural injections for back pain, the repetition of the exercises will help to build muscular strength. However, everyone’s lifestyle should include regular exercise.
Keep in mind that every person is unique. Following an epidural, you might need to wait longer or less before starting to walk. When in doubt, check with your doctor to see if you can walk. Up until they determine it is safe for you to return home, the medical staff will keep a watchful check on you.


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