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Posted By : JakenGess - 7/17/2017 6:39 PM
Ok quick update from my last post. I went back to my pcp to get better pain management since the Tramadol was giving em nausea and feeling like my blood sugar was too low. He gave me a Rx of flexeril also.

He referred me to the pain specialist to start getting steroid injection into my cervical spine. Have any of you guys ever had that? Is it effective.

I have a herniated disc that is compressing my spinal cord centrally. I have pain constantly. My arms feel like they tire out quicker than they used too. I was cooking on Sunday and my arms got so tired it was super difficult to chop vegetables by the end of cooking. This has been getting more common, an every day occurrence. Will spinal injections help this or is this more or less checking the box then on to surgery since I am having arms pains, etc?

Posted By : kellyinCali - 7/17/2017 9:57 PM
Cervical Injections did not help me but lumbar and thorasic injections helped my Mom many times.

Posted By : White Beard - 7/17/2017 10:36 PM
I've had many cervical steroid injections over the years and I think the longest period of pain relief I ever got was about 3 weeks! Most of the time it was a lot less!! Allot of times these injections are used as a kind of diagnostic tool, and I've had several neurosurgeons required me to have them first before having surgery done. What kind of relief you will get is hard to say as it varies from individual to individual, everyone is different. It is not a permanent fix though!

I do wish you well! That arm pain is the worst and I can really empathize with you!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
USAF retired in Sept.1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg, Disabled in late 1999, was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD and Multiple herniated Disks; Foraminotomy L3/4/5 Jan 2013; Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF 1985; Implanted pain Pump Jun 2014.

Posted By : pitmom - 7/18/2017 6:19 AM
I'm sorry to hear what you are experiencing. I have not had steroid injections in the cervical spine but do know about arm pain and quick fatigue. You say it's a daily occurrence. May I suggest you look into precut veggies? Many grocery stores carry fresh or frozen. One of the scariest things for me is cooking. Sometimes my arms are so fatigued, just the thought of lifting a pot of pasta off the stove to drain it...
I've replaced all of my cookware with lighter weight versions. I buy pre-cut when I can. I have a gadget for opening car and bottle lids. Anything that makes life easier!

Best wishes for your future health!
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

Posted By : straydog - 7/18/2017 6:56 AM
I don't have anything to add as the above members have addressed it all. Generally these injections are done in a series of three. If you don't get any relief after 2, then I would not bother with a 3rd, just my opinion.

As WhiteBeard said, the neurosurgeons often will require them prior to any surgery. Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : (Seashell) - 7/18/2017 3:16 PM
JakenGess:
When effective, corticosteroid injections relieve troubling disc protrusions by relieving inflammation and fluid distribution of the disc material - the gelatinous disc material recceds, relieving pressure off of affected nerve roots or central cord compeession.

Disc protrusions are present in almost everyone at some level of their vertebrae. Disc protrusions are often incidental findings, and cause no to few symptoms.

When a disc protrusion becomes problematic and expresses symptoms, conservative management is always first line treatment for the simple reason that many disc protrusions will receed and become symptom free with time and patience.

The only circumstances that warrant immediate surgery are disc protrusions/herniations where central nervous system compromise is detected. This includes loss of sphincter control of the bowel or bladder and central spinal cord compression with overt paresis.

Your physician is acting appropriately in suggesting conservative measures. Steroid injections and/or an oral steroid Medro pack. Physical therapy with gentle cervical traction or cranio-sacral release can also sometimes provide anough long-axis traction between the adjacent vertebral levels affected to influence the protruding disc material to recede.

As a physical therapist, I frequentky counseled patients to stay the course with conservative measures. My personal opinion is that it is always preferred to give the body full opportunity to heal itself. The outcomes are simply better when surgery can be avoided. People often do not understand how disrupting surgery can be to the normal anatomy and functioning of the body. Case in point: the development of hernias due to multiple open abdominal surgeries. Case in point: added vertical stress placed in vertebral levels below vertebral fusions, lending to disc and facet dysfunction to levels below vertebrae surgically fused.

Bottom Line: Do not rush into cervical disc surgery for a protrusion.
Karen
Pituitary failure, wide-spread endocrine dysfunction
Addison's disease
Mixed connective tissue disorder
Extensive intestinal perforation with sepsis, permanent ileostomy
Avascular necrosis of both hips and jaw
Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)

Posted By : Alcie - 7/18/2017 3:23 PM
I've had injections in all 3 parts of the spine, and different types of injections too. There are facet joints and epidural injections and others.

My first lumbar injection, an epidural, lasted a year and a half. Later ones didn't last as long, and facet joint injections were mostly tests to see if ablation would work. Ablations last longer, but are not permanent either.

My neck - cervical - injections helped sometimes, but my neck is so bad they don't work now. It depends what the problem is.

Do you have arthritis impinging on a nerve? A disc problem? Has your regular doctor done any imaging studies?

Not all pain doctors even do injections. Neurologists don't inject at all. Physiatrists can inject lumbar spine, and anesthesiologists inject anywhere. Thoracic injections need to be done in the OR, not the office. All these doctors can prescribe medicines, but not all will! Ask your regular doctor to refer you to someone who will do what you need.

Posted By : JakenGess - 7/19/2017 8:46 PM
Hi Alcie,

In response to your post, I am in my early 30s. I started having back issues as a senior in high school when I had a weight lifting accident. Over the years, my back pain would happen off and on. As a nurse, I spent a lot of time lifting patients, bending, pushing, pulling weighted beds, etc. it has just caught up with me. In the last 6 months, my symptoms have become worse and more frequent. Now it is an every day at occurrence. It has not gone away without pain medicine since the end of May. In my most recent MRI, I have a c4-5 disc bulge assymetric to the right causing right foraminal stenosis, a c5-6 central disc herniation compressing the ventral spinal cord, and a c6-7 central disc osteophyte compressing the central spinal cord.

I have sharp shooting pain if I bend my neck a funny way while putting on a jacket or holding a phone on my shoulder. My arm discomfort comes and goes depending on how severe my neck pain gets. Several years ago I had a symptom of feeling like i urinated on myself but never actually did it, it was just the sensation. I was helping a pt out of a car. By the time I got to the MRI, there was nothing significant, the MRI was about 6 months later. I have since not had any issues with those symptoms. I am curious if those shmptoms were from a disc issue as well!

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