Injured discs in your spine, pinched nerves or bone spurs can lead to neck, arm or shoulder pain. In some cases, cervical epidural injections can help with this type of pain. If pain has been keeping you from going about your daily activities and exercising, you may find it easier to lose weight after having these injections.
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Cervical Epidural Injections
Cervical epidural injections involve injecting steroids into the space that is around your spinal nerves. These steroids can limit any inflammation caused by irritation of the spine, which in at least 50 percent of people results in reductions in pain levels, allowing them to undergo rehabilitation to treat the original injury. These injections do not cure the problem on their own, and they do not work for everyone, notes the Spine-Health website.
One of the potential side-effects of epidural injections is bloating, which is usually temporary. Weight gain is also a possibility, but most people experience no change in weight due to these injections. A study published in 2008 in "Pain Physician" found no significant changes in weight in study participants who received epidural injections compared to a control group that did not receive these injections.
How to Lose Weight
After you have cervical epidural injections, follow the instructions of your doctor as to when you can return to normal activity levels and begin exercising. This will depend on the effectiveness of the injections, and you may have to undergo physical therapy. If you want to lose weight, you will need to consume fewer calories than you burn through your regular daily activities. This will be easier if you can increase the time you spend in moderate exercise to at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Walking is a good exercise to start with, since it is low-impact and you can usually start walking relatively soon after having your injection. Just be sure to get your doctor's OK before you start.
Cervical epidural injections will only help you to lose weight if they are effective enough at reducing your pain levels so you can return to regular daily exercise. Otherwise, they will have no effect on your ability to lose weight. Follow the recommendations of your doctor or physical therapist as to what types of diet and exercise changes it would be safe for you to make so you can lose weight after your injection.