Lumbar epidural injections are used to treat sciatica (leg pain coming from the back) as well as low back pain coming from the lumbar discs. When the discs bulge or herniate they release some inflammatory chemicals inside of them. When these get on the nerves and ligaments of the low back, they cause a lot of irritation and pain. It’s kind of like a very hot pepper. So what do you normally do when your mouth is burning from a hot pepper? Some people try to rinse their mouth out by drinking water. Some savvy people know to neutralize the chemicals in the pepper, they can drink some milk. Well, we spine specialists do the same thing in epidural injections. We give a volume of fluid injected near the area of inflammation to wash away some of those chemicals and we mix it with a steroid to decrease the inflammation for the chemicals that are not washed away.