When discs or osteoarthritic facet joints press on a spinal nerve as it emerges from the spine, the nerve is irritated and swells up causing severe pain that is usually felt down the buttock or leg (sciatica). A cortisone injection placed with xray guidance will often relieve the swelling and settle the pain within 2-3 days. Risks or side effects are:

  • pain flare up in first 24-48 hours

  • red flushed face for 2-7 days

  • diabetes temporarily worse for 2-7 days