epidural injection for sciatica

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theresa26
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/13/2008 6:28 PM (GMT -7)   
hi, has anyone had an epidural injection and worked for your back problems or sciatica?

kttn251977
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 11/13/2008 9:56 PM (GMT -7)   
yes i have had it done. i did get SOME relief.... but it wore off after awhile. i did talk to some other patients in the OR who said they had about a years worth of pain free. i have had probably 30 different injections in the past year & a half. it can help alot. there is a slight soreness the day you have it done, minimal downtime. i can function that day just fine, your just a little sore & groggy from the anesthesia. i have actually stayed awake during one because i had a BITE of toast.... don't eat! :) the procedure itself is like 10 minutes maybe? its just the paperwork & iv's that that take so long. but i'm a hard stick, i have to have the anesthesoligist put my iv in. but don't be nervous- its a very simple surgery (though they should always be taken seriously) &you won't know if it works till you try. don't be shocked if you go in sets of three's thats how my drs do it. says it works better, and it does. but like i said, its a simple surgery, twilight sleep (the sleeping part is nice) & get up & go home. take your band aid off. thats it! if you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
RX's: Oxycontin 60 MG 2x's daily; Oxycodone 30 MG 4x's daily; Soma 3x's daily; Lyrica 100 MG 3x's daily (all for pain & fibro.); Phenergan 25 MG (as needed); Amitriptyline 25 MG 1x at bedtime; Cymbalta 60mg 2x's daily (for pain & fibro); Restoril 15mg at bedtime; Zanaflex 4mg 3x's daily; Metoclopram (as needed) & Senokot (as needed).
"The most critical choice you'll ever make is the one you make about what you're going to do with this. The past is over. The future hasn't happened yet. The only time is now."
- Dr. Phil


Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
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   Posted 11/13/2008 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I have. Never heard of being put under for an epidural, though. I've always been wide awake for mine. I usually have to fight to get my procedures done without sedation (b/c of a severe phobia I have), but the clinic never even mentioned sedation when I have epidurals.
They can be done in the office while seated (which I think are more comfortable) or in a sterile setting, often under flouroscope, while lying on your side or back.

I have gone in to work after them as well, but have found I got better relief the times when I've stayed home the remainder of the day to rest & ice the injection site once an hour. Your doc can probably better advise you about what would be best for your body. Even if you're not sedated, I wouldn't plan to drive immediately after the procedure.

Some docs do them individually; other times they are done in sets of 2 or 3 if relief is not obtained after the first injection. Mostly I've found them very helpful with the pain shooting down my leg (pain reduced by 75-100%), not as helpful (but still better than anything else) at lessening my low back pain (pain reduced by 30-50%). Sometimes it has taken 2 injections for me to get that level of relief.

hope you find some relief.
frances

Baybreeze
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 11/14/2008 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi,

Yes, I've had many epidurals for sciatic pain and many times it did help my pain. It pretty much helps all the nerve pain and also the stiffness in my spine. However, I have such problems when the steroids wear off. When they wear off, my nerve pain doesn't always come back in the same spot, but I get all sorts of other symptoms in a flare.

You should make sure the injection is done under guided fluoroscopy (which is a live x-ray) so that the doc can see exactly where the needle is being placed. Also, it is very common for you to have exacerbated pain for 1-2 days after the shot, when the anesthetic wears off. But then again, there is no guarantee that it will help your pain, but it's worth a shot.

theresa26
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/14/2008 1:23 PM (GMT -7)   
hi baybreeze,

what sort of pains do you have after the injection wears off? Is it as bad as before you have the injection?

Baybreeze
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 11/14/2008 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   
For me, it was mostly soreness, I think. The pain was centered around the area (and surrounding areas) of where I got the injections. The times I experienced pain right after the injections were when I got caudal injections. It's done in the sacral area and they stick the needle up into the epidural space (from the rear end area). Also, I have alot of scar tissue from surgery and perhaps something got aggravated related to that, I'm not sure. But it was very sore and I had muscle spasms in my rear (LOL, sounds weird for me explaining this), plus it hurt to sit. However, the pain and spasms did go away after 1 or 2 days and then I felt sooooooooo much better. So for me, it was worth it. Now, I also have had many transforaminal ESI's plus nerve blocks in the past, which did not hurt at all, but those were all before my surgery.

theresa26
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/14/2008 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
well i hope the injection helps me im so young only 26 and I want to get back to normal and start working well I guess it's worth a try... I hope it doesn't wear off for me that quick..

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 11/14/2008 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Theresa,
First I want to welcome you to the forum. This is a great group of people, and although we're not doctors many of us have had a lot of experience with injections. If you search the site for old threads, you'll get a lot of information in addition to these posts.

I've had a lot of injections, too, and the only one that worked was to my SI joint. That doesn't mean they won't work for you. A lot depends on what's causing your symptoms, and whether the medication will help, and can be injected closely enough to the problem area. I'd be sure your doc uses a flouroscope (it's a type of X-ray guidance) so he/she can see where they're going. Most do. I've found applying some ice to the site of the injection helps with the soreness which for me has always gone away in a day or two and was never a big deal. It's just that the epidurals to my spine never helped anything.

The medication isn't always designed to be a cure. Sometimes if the first or second injection is successful, then you may get progressive relief, but usually most docs don't do more than 3 over the course of a few months. The one time they did work was when I got injections for trigger fingers in my hands; a series of 3 injections actually did cure the problem, which surprised me because the first couple of injections wore off. But if they help, even if they wear off it tells the doc that they've located the source of your problem, and perhaps other procedures can be used for longer relief. I hope you have success!

PaLady

kttn251977
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 11/14/2008 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Theresa I am only 31 & I started getting them at 27. So they aren't bad at all. You should get some relief, especially if scheduled in 2 or 3s. It really is easier than going to the dentist. To me the hardest part is getting the IV in, but like I said I am a hard stick. Like I mentioned there is some soreness at the injection site, but its really not that bad. That pain is nothing compared to what you are going through now. So just go for it.What do you have to lose? What do you have to gain? If it dosen't work by round 3 then there are other options, like medication. Are you on Lyrica by any chance? I take that & Cymbalta for the nerve & fibryomyalgia pain & it works quite well for me. Have a good night. Hope this helps you some. -Shan
RX's: Oxycontin 60 MG 2x's daily; Oxycodone 30 MG 4x's daily; Soma 3x's daily; Lyrica 100 MG 3x's daily (all for pain & fibro.); Phenergan 25 MG (as needed); Amitriptyline 25 MG 1x at bedtime; Cymbalta 60mg 2x's daily (for pain & fibro); Restoril 15mg at bedtime; Zanaflex 4mg 3x's daily; Metoclopram (as needed) & Senokot (as needed).
"The most critical choice you'll ever make is the one you make about what you're going to do with this. The past is over. The future hasn't happened yet. The only time is now."
- Dr. Phil


theresa26
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/14/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Shan

No I just started getting this pain I have around 6 months with this and its bad I was getting better and now Im actually bad again... so no meds yet Im going next week to the ortho so Im hoping i have luck with that...

thanks

kttn251977
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 11/14/2008 7:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Lyrica is a great option for the nerve pain, ask for some samples to see how they work. I had to work my way up to 100mg- thats pretty strong. I was very sleepy the first 2 weeks, but once I got used to it- I function fine on them. But only my toes tickels- occsionally a burn on one or two nerves. Depends on what I have done for the day! Is your surgery scheduled soon?
RX's: Oxycontin 60 MG 2x's daily; Oxycodone 30 MG 4x's daily; Soma 3x's daily; Lyrica 100 MG 3x's daily (all for pain & fibro.); Phenergan 25 MG (as needed); Amitriptyline 25 MG 1x at bedtime; Cymbalta 60mg 2x's daily (for pain & fibro); Restoril 15mg at bedtime; Zanaflex 4mg 3x's daily; Metoclopram (as needed) & Senokot (as needed).
"The most critical choice you'll ever make is the one you make about what you're going to do with this. The past is over. The future hasn't happened yet. The only time is now."
- Dr. Phil


theresa26
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/14/2008 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   
well next week I go to the orthopedic to see what he says, my other doc said they might try just epidural they keep saying your young you should be better... and I'm praying that I will. I have a herniated disk that is pinching the nerve root and causes pain..

kttn251977
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 11/14/2008 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
girl..... i have gone through that. i KNOW what you are talking about. i had symptoms back to 22. so nearly 10 years. age dosen't factor in anything. you should consider a pain specialist. when i went to one they finally took me seriously. i have a hernated disk, a ruptered disk, a broken disk, sciatica pain in my legs & an arm, bulging disks, scoliosis, herniated disks in my neck, fibryomyalgia, depression... it goes on & on & on. I am glad you are seeing an orthopedic surgeon..... but consider a pain specialist if you don't find that satisfactory. you should be getting some meds to help ease the pain some. i know before i was on meds i was always in blinding pain. the only thing that ever helped was ice & hot baths. well, good luck & let me know how it goes.
RX's: Oxycontin 60 MG 2x's daily; Oxycodone 30 MG 4x's daily; Soma 3x's daily; Lyrica 100 MG 3x's daily (all for pain & fibro.); Phenergan 25 MG (as needed); Amitriptyline 25 MG 1x at bedtime; Cymbalta 60mg 2x's daily (for pain & fibro); Restoril 15mg at bedtime; Zanaflex 4mg 3x's daily; Metoclopram (as needed) & Senokot (as needed).
"The most critical choice you'll ever make is the one you make about what you're going to do with this. The past is over. The future hasn't happened yet. The only time is now."
- Dr. Phil


theresa26
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/14/2008 7:38 PM (GMT -7)   
that's I will consider that... but Im hoping all goes well for me im on disability and its driving me crazy just being home so this helps to talk to someone other than the same people all the time...

thanks I sure will let you know. next week.. ohh another question what is the different between a ruptured disk and herniated disk and a broken disk you have all that in one or in many disk??

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 11/14/2008 8:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Theresa,
Keep in mind that most people on this Forum have chronic pain, so our experiences may be somewhat skewed.

I do know people who have found either long term or permanent relief from a single epidural injection. Just because someone shows signs of disc disease does not mean they are consigned to a life of pain. Many people have no symptoms. Some will have a single episode. Others will suffer intermittent or even chronic pain.

I remember years back when I first got my orthotics (I had been walking around for months on 2 sprained ankles with no signs except that I kept falling down, even when standing still & my posture has suffered severely) I experienced a severe pain starting in my low back, shooting down my hip, my leg & all the way down to my heel. I got a single epidural in the office & was good to go for years and still don't experience that type of pain. Now I get epidurals on a more regular basis for a separate, unrelated condition, but there are definitely people who improve long term after just one and don't ever need to go back.

Hopefully, you will have a full recovery from the epidural. They are supposed to last several months, so if you follow your ortho's instructions for rest, ice/heat & PT/activity, there is a real chance your body can fully recover while the epidural is still working and that you won't need any further injections. Just take it one step at a time. If things continue to be bad, at that point you could look into daily medications or pain specialists. For now, just try to stay positive & follow your doc's post-injection instructions to the letter.

Best of luck next week!
frances

kttn251977
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 11/15/2008 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Frances thats fantastic! I always am so happy when someone is cut down on their pain level..... she is very correct. Some people do live their lives without knowing or with very little pain. The back is so complicated & sometimes they don't know the extent of damage until they get in there to see whats going on. The fact you are out on disability is even better, sometime just rest & time down helps.
Theresa 26- To answer your questions: a herniated disc is when a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open. its the same as a slipped disc or ruprtured disc. (i didn't know they were the same until i got the technical terms out) a bulging disc is a condition usually in the lumbar, or lower back, that occurs when a disk bulges through a crevice in the spine. A bulging disk occurs when the disk shifts out of its normal radius. A bulging disk is different from a herniated disk because a bulging disk typically occurs gradually rather than suddenly. A herniated disk is often the result of an injury or trauma to the spine. Sciatica is severe pain in the leg along the sciatic nerve and its branches. It may be caused by injury or pressure to the base of the nerve in the lower back, or by metabolic, toxic, or infectious disease. I looked up the exact terms for you
RX's: Oxycontin 60 MG 2x's daily; Oxycodone 30 MG 4x's daily; Soma 3x's daily; Lyrica 100 MG 3x's daily (all for pain & fibro.); Phenergan 25 MG (as needed); Amitriptyline 25 MG 1x at bedtime; Cymbalta 60mg 2x's daily (for pain & fibro); Restoril 15mg at bedtime; Zanaflex 4mg 3x's daily; Metoclopram (as needed) & Senokot (as needed).
"The most critical choice you'll ever make is the one you make about what you're going to do with this. The past is over. The future hasn't happened yet. The only time is now."
- Dr. Phil


deb in indiana
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 387
   Posted 11/16/2008 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Iam glad some of you have had thode kind results i just had none in my si joints and it only lasted 11 days but thats the most any of my have lasted so i think that will be it .The charge was 1200.00 just a year ago and this was 2900.00 a year later for the same thing Deb

theresa26
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/16/2008 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   
hi keep hope

why do you get an epidural is it for sciatica pain?
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