I am new here and would like to hear from anyone who has had Therapeutic Injections in their spine..

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Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 2/29/2012 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
  Hello everyone,
     I have had pain in my neck and now lower back for quite some.  The pain is tolerable and can be treated with meds most of the time except for when I am at work. I have been doing the same repetitive motions for 39 years now (30 with the same employer) and it has taken a toll on my neck and spine. My Dr says the job didn't cause the problem but does aggrevate it. I am almost 64 and have just a little over a year to Medicare so I need this job for health benefits but I cannot handle the pain I have at work. The Dr wants to give me a series of injections in my neck and spine and I am VERY nervous about this. I ask myself whether it's worth it since I plan to leave my job and collect Soc Sec and Medicare in May of next year. I think I could live with the pain I have now if I didn't have to work. I have even thought about going without healt benefits for a year.   Anyway...I ramble....What I would like to know is if anyone here has had these injections and what were the results? Was is worth it? All replies would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance.

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16787
   Posted 2/29/2012 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi GlassOlive and welcome to the chronic pain forum. You asked about injections and I am thinking you are talking about epidural steroid injections which are done in a series of three injections spread out over a few weeks apart. You know its difficult to answer your question because when those are done there is no guarantee they will work. Where one person may have them and get relief, someone else may have them and get no relief at all. Are you seeing a pain mgt dr and is he the one that has recommended the injections? My pain mgt dr does not do these nor will she recommend them to her patients. She says we are already in enough pain, why be subjected to more and there is no guarantee they will work. Sorry I cannot give you any better info than this.

A lot of time steroids will help calm down inflammation that causes pain and this is one reason drs do these. But, its going to be your choice whether or not you want to try these. I would hate to see you not be able to get your full 30 years in at your job. You may want to ask your dr about trying you on a short course of a steroid pack to see if that helps calm the inflammation down, some times this will work.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you hello and welcome aboard. Please keep us posted on how you are doing and take care.
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Retired Mom
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   Posted 2/29/2012 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had several sets of injections and was one who did find positive results from them. I know you are scared and that is normal, but it is (although painful) a good fit for me.

I wish you all the best!
Failed TLIF L5-S1, Miltiple Bulges/Herniations, Scoliosis, Pituatary Disorder, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery, Failed Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (now trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendonitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, & Vision Issues

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Date Joined Oct 2009
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   Posted 3/1/2012 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had a couple injections that didn't do anything and a lot more that have helped wonderfully. The effect doesn't last forever, but it allows me relief while my spine heals itself. They helped me avoid surgery!

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Date Joined Oct 2010
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   Posted 3/1/2012 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had both an epidural injection as well as trigger point injections.

The former didn't help me. It wasn't that painful of an experience, though I was given Versed during the procedure.

The latter was uncomfortable, especially the feeling of the volume of fluid injected into various muscles, but wasn't too bad. My back was tender for a few days, but ice helped.

Of the 15 or so injection points (over 3 visits) a few helped a lot and helped for months. Others didn't make a difference.

There are various other types of injections (e.g. facet injections) and some are more or less likely to help and more or less risky. If you can, find out about the specific type(s) your doctor is planning.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 3/1/2012 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Glass Oliver
I've had numerous injections and so far none have done any good. I'm scheduled to have another in March and I'm hoping it will help. This one is called a Medial branch injection. To be honest I had the others done more so to satisfy doctors than my belief in that they will help but I know some people have had great success. I'm presently going to a new pain clinic I've waited almost 2 years to get into and don't want to refuse the injection for fear they may not take me on as a patient so here we go again. Some shots have been painful and some have not. Sorry I couldn't be of more help but as others have said it's kind of a 50/50 thing. You won't know unless you try it.Anyway good luck with whatever you choose and I wish you all the best.
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression, Left foot problems...foot growing in length and big toe growing out sideways, Osteoporosis,11 surgeries total..right foot twice, right knee 3 times, right elbow, throat/neck, spinal fusion, left elbow, left knee, currently deciding on whether to have surgery on left foot.
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam
Birthday July 18th

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 3/1/2012 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had epidural and trigger point injections, and had no awful problems with either of them...but no good results either.

If you're saying that your pain is tolerable, especially with meds, then I think it is a real toss up on if you should have it done. On one hand, I doubt it is going to hurt you..but it might just be unnecessary. I think you should also be honest with your doctor about your anxiety regarding this, he can probably explain it way better and maybe give you some insight on if you should even have it done.

Thanks for posting, and I hope you make some progress here. :)
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 3/1/2012 11:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I would say to give the injections a try to see if they can help, most of us here have had them without much success....
but some people do enjoy relief from them, so a 50/50 shot is worth it...if you can then get thru the rest of this year without
they pain your in or at least it being reduced pain....If it was me I'd try to work thru the year, to get all the benefits
you've earned with a lifetime of work and sweat....but it's up to you...
also go back and read past posting on these, look for injection header's or epi's injection...many many well
wishes to you on this, I sure hope they can work for you....
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 3/2/2012 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi GlassOlive
You know I have had allot of different types of injections in my neck and back, and in just about all the different areas of my spine. This past Tuesday I had my second of three epidural steroid injections in my Lumbar spine at L-3.  For me most of the time I have found the injections  only give me short time relief, maybe if I am lucky I will see up to three weeks of relief, but that is not the normal. But the injections also serve another purpose. Allot of times I have found that surgeons ask about the injections and what relief I have gotten from them. I have been told it is a good diagnostic tool as to confirm that the problem area is where the injection was given. If you get at least some short term relief it tends to indicate that the problem area is around where the injection was given. At least that is what my neurosurgeon had told me about my neck.
Anyway the injections I have had lately, have only given me partial relief and last only for a week or so. But I have known others that have had the injections and have gotten many many months of relief from them! As you have already been told it is actually up to the individual, and what is actually causing the persons pain, and just how the persons body reacts to the injection. Everyone is so different. I guess in the end you will just have to decide for yourself if you want try it, I do know some people think that the injections are extremely painfull, I have never had any problem with them, and I never take the premedication that is offered, ( usually xanax or or something to relax you) I have found the worse part of the injections is when they scrub your back with the betadine solution because it is alway cold and is a real shocker LOL.  There is some discomfort when they first numb you with the lidocaine but it is just a pin prick type of hurt. The actual injection is not so painful but just a feeling of pressure, but it is so short a time it is not really bad at all! But that is just my experience on getting them, and as I have said everyone is so different and feels things differently.
 When I went to nursing school we were taught that pain is subjective and since we can not feel another persons pain, Pain is what the person says it is, and we just have to accept that! It is nothing more and nothing less than what the patient says it is!
I do wish you well and hope things work out for you!
White Beard 
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!
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