Epidural injections are used to help reduce the inflammation of the herniated disc. The shot is not a painkiller. The shot contains a steroid, an anti-inflammatory drug, which will create separation of the disc and the nerve so that the pain and numbness can start to alleviate. The epidural shots work on some people and can be a one time procedure if the pinched nerve is caught early. If the bulging disc becomes herniated, then the shot may or may not work. If it does work, the results may wear off over time.