Question about steroid injections

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 353
   Posted 6/12/2012 9:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
I have really stupid question / questions. What exactly are steroid injections used for, i mean i know they are to help with inflammation but how does my Dr. know what is inflamed, if anything at all? As i mentioned in my intro, my doc would like to do one, but I haven't had an MRI, only x-rays, so how would he know where to inject and why. (also, at this point i have to wait for my deductible to be reached before i can schedule one, but that should happen within the next few months)

I don't have the sciatic nerve pain and I'm afraid that i may develop it after the injection. Mostly my pain seems to be mechanical in nature and is pretty controlled with medication, heating pad, and Ben-gay / icy-hot. Also i have heard horror stories of the side effects, so i'm pretty worried about it.

My Gyno NP, said IF i do them don't do too many because of the osteoporosis issue and my age and birth control method. She would prefer that i didn't do them at all since i refuse to change my birth control method (depo).

Thanks for taking the time to read this and i hope you have a low pain day.


Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 6/12/2012 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello alsoinpain!

I cannot for the life of me remember what your X-ray's showed, but it is possible to see a problem using that information for the "Epidural" steroid injection. Most PM's, or whoever will be doing the injection probably would rather be using the information of an MRI as it gives a much better picture of what the problem may be. Sometimes they will do them with contrast and without contrast (MRI's)

You are correct in that Steroid injections are used to reduce inflammation. I don't think the Dr can see the actual inflammation with an MRI, but if they see items like disc bulges and such it may be assumed that the tissue surrounding that area will be inflamed, thus the reason for the steroid injection. It may bring some relief for a few weeks up to several months. It is preferred over pain med's for obvious reasons.

As with any treatment, oral, or injection, there are risk involved. I will say that most patients do well with Epidural, with no or little side-effects other than being a little sore for a few days at the injection site. Icing this area can help reduce some of the soreness.

Most Dr's will limit you to three injections in anyone area, but you must wait at-least two to three weeks in between each one. Also, many Dr's will suggest at-least a second one, as it is believed that it will take two to be effective. I myself usually get two of them, and if by that time they are not kicking in, In most cases Insurance will only pay for three in a 12mo period.

If you happen to schedule one of these injections, I would suggest sedation, as they can be painful for some patients. I cannot handle them without sedation at all. If you do not opt for the sedation they will be using a local, and it may be sufficient enough for you.

I would make sure your Dr understands that your Gyno NP is reluctant to have this procedure done, and the reason as to why.

One last thing! questions here on the forum are dumb. We all are here to learn and need support. Please feel free to ask anything! wink
Take care,

SE wink
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 353
   Posted 6/13/2012 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you SE for taking the time to read my post and reply. After thinking about it more i realize that I'm probably being silly, after all the doctor is the doctor and I'm sure he knows what hes doing, I'm just being a fraidy cat. LOL.

My husband had a steroid injection in his knee and it helped, i even had one about 20 years ago in my wrist that helped also (that i just remembered when thinking things over).

I guess I'm just nervous, especially after what my NP said, and i don't want it to make me hurt worse. Also i don't want the Doc to think I'm being non-compliant.

Thank you SE!
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