Just had my 1st epidural injection...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 9/15/2011 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,  I just had my first epidural steroid injection in my lumbar spine due to my bulging discs/back pain.  Well, this is day 3 after the shot and I'm still in pain.  Right afterwards, I felt pretty good, I guess due to the numbness of the local anesthetic.  But yesterday and today, I'm having lower back pain and rt buttuck pain, going down to the back of my thigh.  Great.  So I guess the injection didin't work?  I understand that the steroid has to take effect and that may take a couple days, but this is Day 3.  Should'nt it have kicked in by now? 
I'm really getting frustrated.  I know I've read that the injection doesn't work for everyone, so I must be one of those people.  Now what?  My pain meds are ordered by my primary doc and she isn't willing to increase them.  My PM doesn't want to give me anything other than what my PCP is giving me, which is Lorcet 10/650 3 x day.  I've been on same dose for about a year now.  I feel like I need a long-acting opiate, but I hate to ask.  I know my PCP will not prescribe that...and my PM doesn't want to rx for me since PCP is doing it.  What do I do in this situation?  It's very confusing to me...this is the REASON I was referred to PM.  And I guess this stupid ESI was supposed to help, but it's not.  I've tried ice and that just makes it "burn" and increases the pain.  Then I try heat...that helps for a while.  I don't know what else to do.  My family thinks I'm supposed to be "fixed" now. 
I'm just frustrating and venting here.  I'm sick of this pain.  And now it's even worse, especially when everyone thinks I'm "fixed".... shakehead   
Well I hope you all are having a low pain day...Hugs to you all.
DDD, 3 bulging lumbar discs, bone spurs, facet joint arthrosis/sclerosis, osteoarthritis

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 9/15/2011 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
       Mysti, it can take up to two weeks for the epidural to reach the maxium effect, and at least 72hrs before it starts to work, so give it some time. Also, many patients require at least two of these before they will help, so don't give up just yet.
      Hang in there!
       SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15831
   Posted 9/15/2011 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Don't throw the towel in yet Mysti, most of time it takes a good week to 10 days for the meds to kick in and work if they are going to. I don't know of anyone that ever got immediate relief. If you are having pain at the injection site I would use some ice on it and it will also help with any swelling.

I sure hope this works for you, I know you need some relief. Hang in there.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 9/15/2011 12:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Many people will experience a temporary increase in pain after having the injections and that is what normally goes away within 3-5 days. As mentioned though is can take up to a couple of weeks to know if the injection will do any good.

As far as the little reverse "turf" war you are caught in the middle of between your PCP and PM doctors go all I can say is that you need to sit down with each of them and find out what conditions need to be met before one of the other will adjust your medications, try other medications, etc. When talking with the PM though it is critical to find out if he is going to consider you a long term or short term patient because if he is only considering you a short term one and if you do end up getting him to take over you day to day pain management (managing your meds) and then says in a few months he can't help you and sends you back to your PCP you might find your PCP unwilling to resume your pain meds.

When it comes to doctors never assume anything. You need to cover and talk about all the possibilities with each/all of them in order to decide what route you need to take.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 9/15/2011 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
My first one didn't work for four weeks and just when I had given up hope it kicked in and I had excellent relief for til my next one. It is frustrating when everyone thinks you "are better". I understand that - listen to yourself and your own body. If you had a leg in a cast no one would say anything to you. It is one of the problems I am having too in living with chronic pain. Hoping it begins to work soon.
I pray and wait for God to do His thing in His time...til then I am waiting with chronic pain...

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 9/20/2011 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had three in the past 6 months, and I've felt them helping me, but never an end all solution. First time, it was highly effective, the next two times, still a net decrease in pain, but my medicines were still being used.

It's not a end all solution, but itsa step in the right direction,I hope it emds up helping you OP

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 9/20/2011 10:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to all of your replies! I appreciate it so much! Actually, today has been a very good day. I am finally getting some relief. Last night, I was in some bad pain, but when I got up this morning, I felt good and also throughout the day (which is very rare...usually it progresses as the day goes on). So I'm not sure if the relief is due to the injection...which was a week ago now....or the increase in dose of my Lyrica. My PM doc doubled the dose I was on.

I hope that all of you are having a low pain day...and I send out gentle hugs ((((((((((())))))))))) .............
DDD, 3 bulging lumbar discs, bone spurs, facet joint arthrosis/sclerosis, osteoarthritis
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