Due to degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, 2 bulging discs, and anulas disc tear, and severe back pain, my doctors felt like a spinal epidural, in which they injected steroids into my impaired discs, could help me. I had one last September, with moderate pain relief. But I had one about two weeks ago, and it is hardly working at all. Any suggestions?
21 Aug 2012
Hi mjulianne, and welcome. This is a controversial subject. My husband had a herniated disk in his neck, and had very good results with the epidural, BUT, it is NOT a cure. Now his neck is worse, the epidural's are not helping, and after having about 30 of them through the years (they give three a 'session'/year), they are starting to break down all the tissue in his back, and bones. They are injecting steroids into the epidural space. It can help pain, and if it does help for a long time, GREAT!! Just be careful, because pain management doctors are afraid to prescribe meds for pain, they will try anything even DANGEROUS cocktails, or epidurals to control the pain. My husband cannot have another epidural, and it has done more harm now than the help he received over the years. Neither will the PM doctor prescribe him any more pain meds. They just send him back for more epidurals which he rightfully refuses. Just my thoughts on the subject.
Best of luck to you!!
20 Aug 2012
Hello mjulianne77, & welcome to the site. I feel for you as I have about the same problems with the lower part of my spine also. The injection is for inflammation, & isn't a cure for buldging discs, scoliosis or an anulas tear. It just a doctors way of hoping it might help as others with your same problem may not suffer pain much at all. Everyone is different, so different results for each one. I am not a doctor, so I can't tell you what's next, but I personally would have a neruosurgeon give you a consult to see if there may be a surgical fix for you or not. You may be facing a lot of physical therapy, suggestions of more of these shots or even surgery if your pain is great. Unfortunately the pain specialists seem to be getting away from using opiate drugs to control chronic pain. You may well qualify, but may have to change doctors if they do not prescribe any such pain meds for your discomfort. Here's wishing you the best, & hoping you recover much better...
20 Aug 2012
I agree with Mary. I too have Digenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Stenosis, alot of nerve damage, Bulging discs pressing against nerves, and issues with the sacroiliac joint. I don't think I spelled that last one right at all. But I have had many, and sorry to say they didn't help much. My dr. wants to give me another one. and I said I didn't think so right now. Now this is my own personal experience. I have heard others say it helps. I think it's a case by case deal. I wish you the very best. Just educate youself about it, like writing into here was a great idea. I hope yo get many answer's. Take care, and best wishes. Ruthie
20 Aug 2012
Hi mjulianne - Unfortunately, that is how it goes sometimes. I have had many, many of those over the past 3-4 years. They don't always work but when they do... it is heaven! Have you talked with your PM doc about a neurospinal stimulator to block pain signals to the brain??? I have one of those implanted and attached to my spine... the battery pack in implanted in my buttocks. I have had EXCELLENT results from this and can sleep through the night, finally. I got mine a year ago this month. It is worth investigating. Pain pills alone do not work... PT is helpful and so is aquatherapy or water walking in a warm pool and "hanging" in the pool... it decompresses the spine. Also for me, nerve blocks work better...
Just some thoughts here for you...
20 Aug 2012
I have had several steroidal spinal injections for my chronic back pain. They don't work, in my opinion. But I had to give it a try. I've also had 6 nerves burned (Medial Branch Nerve Ablation) and that did nothing. I have a good pain management specialist and he works with me in determining which pain meds are effective and which are not. I hope you will find something that works to give you at least temporary relief during each day. This is a hard thing for us to endure. You have to stay proactive and keep asking the questions. Blessings upon you.
21 Aug 2012
Hi - I have many similar problems as you and started out in pain management with the epidural steroid injections. They didn't help me at all, but it seemed to be something I had to try before they proceeded to something that does: rhizotemy's, or radial frequency ablation - having specific nerves burned in a procedure. These have helped a lot! I had a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted last Dec and it is helping some too. You might want to consider it - there is a trial first, so you'll know if it helps before you have the surgery. Best wishes - ElizaJane
20 Aug 2012
I cracked a vertebra 8-10 years ago but it healed fine. Then I fell on my butt very badly 4 years ago & slowly developed intolerable lower back pain. I had the epidural steroid shot & the pain disappeared completely & immediately. This lasted for 3+ terrific years until a month ago when the pain returned as before, so I had another shot by the same doctor, but nothing happened. I waited patiently for almost another month & now the pain is almost entirely gone. Even riding in my car on bumpy city streets has not brought the pain back, but I am still apprehensive that it'll return. I know 1 guy who has been getting this shot every 2 years for a long time now, but you don't want to get it done to close together as my doctor says it'll turn that area into mush. Yikes!
20 Aug 2012
Unfortunately, I had an epidural which caused me to double over in pain on the table, and my upper blood pressure went to 209. It provided me no pain relief at all. Also, after about 6 months, pain returned to the injection area (this is not uncommon) which stayed with me for a couple of months.
I also tried a Litacaine i.v. for possible pain relief, but this also had no affect.
Best wishes in finding something that will help you. Chris
22 Aug 2012
Hey Julianne, it sounds as if you also need an MRI. You DO need another doctor. I don't know how old you are, but PM docs hesitate to help someone who is in their 20's, and even early 30's. Just a heads up if you are that young. Also, if Amrix helped you so much, it is just a long acting formulation of a generic medication called cyclobenzaprine, or Flexeril the brand name. What they did was when they realized their patent was running out, they redevised a way to form a new patent on the SAME medication. Flexeril can be sedating, which taking Amrix at night avoids, but Amrix is NOT as strong as the cyclobenzaprine four times a day. So, if you can get through the tiredness, or perhaps it doesn't even make you tired, that is a very inexpensive way to go. I hope that this helps you!! Let us know how you fare, we really do care!
22 Aug 2012
I have had nine epidurals over a period of 5 years with the first three being the best and the last series of three not doing much at all. I had these injections over a period of the last seven years. I went from there to this thing called radio frequency thermocoagulation which the first session I did without going under and I wish I had and the last where they mercifully put me under. Those were not as long lasting and as strong a relief of pain as I thought they would be. The best pain relief I get is from my pain meds opana er. Good Luck.
ps by the way I have similar conditions and I do hope you find a combination that will be effective for you.
- Prednisone Information for Consumers
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