A Nice Shot in the Spine

December 5, 2002 – 9:45 am by Aaron

I have a bad back. When I say bad, I mean more or less constant pain in my lower back and down my right leg into my calf. It hurts, and to be quite honest I’m pretty tired of it. I had back surgery in October of 2002 and I was pain free for about a week or so. After that, it was business as usual, meaning pain, and lots of it. I saw a chiropractor for several months and I think that helped some. But he was pretty expensive and I was driving half an hour each way at 5:00 in the morning 3 days a week. I had to stop seeing him. I did pretty well for a few months after that, but it didn’t last. Around February of this year the pain started coming back with a vengeance again. I’ve been on 3 different anti-inflamatory medicines, I’ve been taking as many as 3 Vicadin a day some days. Jen had a baby in July and I can’t even hold him standing up for more than 10 minutes or so, and he gets bored staring at the back of a chair or the couch and he’s not ashamed to let you know it. So, my back needs fixed in a bad way. This past Monday I took the next step in trying to get it fixed: I got an epidural cortisone shot in my spine. It wasn’t as horrible as it sounds, but it wasn’t exactly pleasant either. Cortisone is supposed to be a really good anti-inflamatory and it’s also a steroid that is supposed to promote healing in joints and break down scar tissue. I have no idea if it’s working. The doctor said it could feel worse for a couple of days before it starts to feel better. I still have some pain but it’s more of a soreness and less of an evil stabbing sensation. I am supposed to call them in about a week and evaluate whether I should get another shot – you can have as many as 3 in a six-month period usually about three weeks between shots. If the cortisone doesn’t work, the next option is another surgery. That doesn’t thrill me either because I’ve heard of very few people who have had multiple back surgeries and are pain free. An exception to that is the pastor at my church who just had his second surgery and is feeling great. So we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime your thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated.

  1. 51 Responses to “A Nice Shot in the Spine”

  2. I recently received the treatment of three (3) Cortisone eperdural injections. I truly beleive they have helped me. My Dr. had informed me early on of the fact that the shots may not feel effective for at least three (3) days after each of the procedures. I must say the relief has been wonderful Do I still have pain?? Yes, but it is at such a low level I find on some days I take an Alleve or Tylenol to get me through the day. Have faith I hope you find relief. The pain that I suffered was excruciating. At times I thought I would have to SCREAM at the top of lungs to seek relief. I don’t know what part of the country you live in but, I live in San Diego and have found a wonderful caring doctor who also suffered as we do. He had surgery to relieve his pain.If you would like his number I would be glad to furnish same to you. Contact me at my “E” Mail address and I will forward his Tel#.Maybe he can refer a specialist to you if you do not live in this part of the country.
    Good Luck.

    By RG on Dec 14, 2002

  3. I assume Eperdural injuctions are the same as a Nerve Block. I have arthritis of the lower back and a disk Rupture, 2 1/2 years ago I had a bad fall at work that restarted a prior injury (Tbe rupture) , I was put under a pain doctor, I have a nerve block done about every six months and have been taking hydrocodone 10/325 for pain this whole period, my doctor tell me all he can do is performe this nerve block about every six months and keep me on pain medication when needed.Does this sound like a common fix?

    By Pete Estrada on Feb 19, 2003

  4. The epidural I got was a cortisone injection. Cortisone is a steroid that reduces swelling, helps to break down scar tissue. I don’t think it’s the same thing as the nerve block you described. Has anyone talked to you about surgery? Back surgery has made some really amazing advancements in recent years. The surgeons can now go in and remove the ruptured part of the disk, making only a 1 inch or smaller incision. I don’t know what your injury is so I don’t know if that would be an option for you or not. I do know that hydrocodone is a generic name for Vicadin, which is a narcotic. The 325 in the dosage is Acetominaphin (tylenol) which can cause liver damage if you take more than (I think) 2000mg a day for a prolonged period of time. Not only that but narcotics are addictive, so be careful.

    I hope it all works out for you.

    By Aaron on Feb 19, 2003

  5. I found this site becuase I am up again for one of my many nightly wake up calls (1:46am here) due to pain and am awaiting an anti inflammatory pill to take some effect, so that I can sleep again for 2 to 3 hours! I had my very first epidural cortisone shot 9 hours ago and I am anxiously hoping for any kind of relief within 24 to 48 hours. I have become such a slave to this pain, I can barely function through a day. I sympathize greatly for you and can imagine your frustration and pain. I would like to know what the results of your treatment are and how long it takes to relieve the pain. I truly hope it works for you, as well as myself. Good Luck and I hope by now YOU are able to get a full night’s sleep!!

    By Cherry on Feb 27, 2003

  6. I had a micro discectomy in december of ’02. I have since had a re-herniation of the same disc. I have done nothing physically demanding during this time. Before surgery I had a series of three epidural injections which I had temporary relief. Since surgery I have had one, with no positive results. I will be seeing the doctor next week to discuss other options. I also am taking three Vicadin a day just to get by. I am twenty three and very active, and want my life back desperately. I will post another message if a cure is found!!!!

    By Brent on Mar 12, 2003

  7. How have you been doing? I’m writing because today I recieved a cotrisone shot in my lower back to ease the pain and suffering of two degenerative discs. Anyway, I was searching on the internet for sites about back pain and cortisone and ran across yours. Hopefully this treatment will work! I’m 24 and recently was diagnosed with the disease, which has madxe me miserable for months now. At first, I couldn’t even stand up with out horrible stabbing and pain. It fels like someone was not only stabbing me, but tightening a belt around my back and squeezing. No fun.

    Well, if you have any suggestions let me know. I enjoyed your post. Hope you are feeling better.

    Brian
    Plano, TX

    By Brian on Apr 10, 2003

  8. I have almost the same problem as you “Dad”. My L 3-4-5 are staggered. Pain in the lower back,groin, down the right leg. There is some
    pressure on the nerves. The doctor has
    perscribed VIOXX (first remedy to try). I have
    researched VIOXX: I do not like what I have
    read. The Epidural shot is the next choice. But
    from everyone’s response, it sounds like a
    temporary solution. Not sure what I will do.
    Maybe just live with the pain. Even with the pain I still do all my exercises, work, and
    chores. Best wishes to all. Thanks…

    By larry on Apr 21, 2003

  9. Hi All,
    Aaron, what happened after December when you posted? Did you get another epidural? What exactly, happens when they do one for the spine? My husband has multiple levels of stenosis and after almost a full year, they are just now considering that or surgery since nothing has worked or slowed down the pain and damage. He has lost a lot of weight and reacts badly to most medications for pain. His daily life is minimal compared to what it used to be so he gets very depressed not knowing what is going on or when anything will be done at all. He is not good about waiting. (I have RA so am good at it.) Waiting for what? Anything! We have read everything on the epidurals and it is all so “ify” and really tells us nothing. His PT people are great and really care about him, we came to your site via his fave guy there who is excellent at both PT and emotional support. Any advice out there?

    By Rici for Dan on May 28, 2003

  10. Yesterday I was told that I might have a ruptured disc, and the doctor recomended that I have a epidural cortisone shot done to relieve the pain. I have constant pain in both my legs, and back.

    My question is does this hurt?

    By Carolina Brenna on Jun 18, 2003

  11. yes they do sting, I had shots in my neck and back and are going back 7-21-03 for my second set of shots, I’m still in quite abit of pain in my neck, the accident happened at work, now they will not pay any Dr.’s appointments or meds. that I need and are trying to fire me, like I got hurt on purpose. are the shots o.k. for the neck? the Dr. that took out a herniated dics c5-c6 in the neck told me they do not give shots in the neck. I have D5-D6 & L4-L5 herniated and discs C4-C5, C6-C7 are bulged disc. I can’t stand the pain, my employer made life not worth living, they treat me like dirt.

    By wejndy on Jul 13, 2003

  12. wejndy-

    I only had the one shot. I actually just had a fusion surgery done on
    May 7, and I feel so much better I can’t even begin to describe it.

    If you got hurt at work, you need to file a worker’s compensation
    claim (assuming you are in the U.S) and they will have to give you
    whatever hospital and medical care you need. It’s covered by the
    government and it also saves your job – they absolutely cannot fire
    you if you got hurt on the job!

    I hope everything works out in your favor. I know the pain can be
    unbearable. It not only hurts, it makes you unhappy, and that
    can also affect relationships. Your family and friends all think
    you’re some kind of grump, when really you’re just frustrated from
    being in pain all the time. People who don’t have that kind of pain
    really just don’t understand what it’s like.

    Keep me updated on your situation. I’ve had more comments on that
    entry in my journal than in any other.

    By Aaron on Jul 13, 2003

  13. read all your messages and found them very helpful. i would appreciate any recent info you may have on epidural shots and my doc. recommends having them in neck and lower back. frankly this scares me. this is next step recommended before surgery. would love to hear from anyone who has had this. hope all of you are improving.

    By pat on Aug 7, 2003

  14. read all your messages and found them very helpful. i would appreciate any recent info you may have on epidural shots and my doc. recommends having them in neck and lower back. frankly this scares me. this is next step recommended before surgery. would love to hear from anyone who has had this. hope all of you are improving.

    By pat on Aug 7, 2003

  15. has anyone heard of John E. Sarno? Dr. Sarno is a specialist in clinical rehab. he wrote several books regarding back pain and found out that many of these problems result from tension. he’s had a pretty high response from his therapy program. no surgery, no drugs. i am going to see him on sep 29. i’ve been experiencing sciatica down to my right ankle for over a year. from 1 to 10 in pain i’ve averaged a 6. but a 6 everyday from jun 02 is not comfortable. i have a mild disc hern [and congenital stenosis [narrow spinal canal]in my L4/5. 3 doctors suggested cortisone since several PT and Chiropractic doctors have failed. will let you all know how my treatments with Dr. Sarno goes. Some people reported relief within hours.

    By Ricky on Sep 3, 2003

  16. I find your comments helpfull at this time, I was hurt on the job 7 months ago, and through Workman comp I’m still waiting to see If I will get medical treatment for my lower back. The Knee surgery didn’t go well, I’m thinking about the cort- injections to the spine, Thank you Bren

    By Bren on Sep 25, 2003

  17. Hi there, my husband goes tomorrow morning for cortisone shots. I myself am a nervous wreck…there are so many people I know personaly that have had them and have nothing at all good to say about them. I hate seeing my husband who is always so active…doing everything, wanting me to sit back and do nothing in so much pain!! He also got hurt at work, as I read a few of you did….someone had replied that as long as you are on workman’s comp there is no way they can fire you….I’m not sure if that’s true in all states….but I do know in the state of Pennsylvania, they can fire you! I’ve been in contact with a lawyer, we have no case yet, but they were very helpful in answering some questions for me. So where we go from here I’m not quite sure yet, I hope and pray so bad that something good happens tomorrow! I’ll be sure and let you all know what we find out! Take care and God Bless….Shannon

    By Shannon on Sep 29, 2003

  18. I have an appointment to have the cortisone shots this coming Friday (in 5 days). Could someone please let me know the procedure of these shots, what do they do numb you first and then put the shots in your lower back? I have had lower back pain, it goes into my hips and groin area and upper parts of my legs. I double up with pain lots of times. Do these shots hurt? Please someone let me know what to expect, I am nervous about going on Friday. Thank you and God Bless You.

    By Dyan on Oct 26, 2003

  19. I had my first Cortisone shot last night, Halloween. I hurt my back a few years ago and herniated the L5/S1 Disc. I went thru the basic treatments including Physical therapy, Vioxx. I think what really helped was time.

    Now I’ve done it again. I hurt my back golfing 3 weeks ago and I’ve had tremendous pain in my back and left calf. My foot and Big Toe are numb. Originally I couldn’t stand or sit. Now I can walk a few feet need to stop often and sit. Again, the shot was last night and so far nothing, really. I do feel some tingling in my foot so maybe it is reversing away from numbness. We will see.

    By Guy on Nov 1, 2003

  20. Folks,

    I had a back injury in 1999 and after that I started getting pain and burning in my right leg. So the Dr. asked me to get an MRI done. Fortunately/Unfortunately the MRI came out showing no disk herniation. But all the signs were of disc herniation. I then went on the internet to do some research on myself. I then found a spine institute, thought of giving a try. The Dr. over there sujjested that I should get an steroid shot. Finally after lot of discussion with the doctor I agreed. For the next 3 years I had nearly pain free life.
    Unfortunately from last month the symptoms started appearing as I think my seating position was bad as I had gone for training and the chairs did not have proper back support.
    Now I tried taking medrol steroids 6 pack without much relief. Dr. then sujjested Lodine an NSAID. It seems to be helping a little but not much as by the end of the day I start getting the pain back.
    I then stated seeing options like myelogram , Discogram, minimally evasive surgery. But all of them show serious side effect.
    The last option I see is again a spinal epidural shot but that too there are so may people on the internet who have suffered really bad side effects after taking a spinal shot that now.. I am really thinking if I should go for it again…
    Folks what do you think? …..

    By Kamal on Nov 9, 2003

  21. Hi
    I am 34 & have been crippled with lower back pain (pain really doesnt describe it) for 8 months. I am active and healthy. the last 3 disc are ruptured and legiments torn. I take 10 mg/oxycotin 4 x’s/day just to be able to move. no one nos what happened. Ive been thru chiropractor (quack) and phisio. I cant sit AT ALL. I teach school. Driving is impossible.plus a little over medicated to be driving (i think).
    I just received notice that I am to have a cortisone shot (one of 3) in a couple of days. I am scared to death. I have had several unrelated major surgeries in my life, but nothing to do with my spine. I have no idea what to do.

    By Christa on Nov 21, 2003

  22. While the shot is a bit painful, it could very possibly help you. One thing I remember them telling me is that the cortizone not only reduces inflamation, it can also help to reduce scar tissue. Hopefully you have a good doctor who is advising you on your options. I would suggest just taking it one step at a time, get the series of shots and hope that they work for you, if they don’t then cross that bridge when you come to it. I hope things work out for you. Please post back here and let us know if the shots work for you.

    A lot of people post comments here saying they are about to get cortisone shots, but I have yet to see anyone post after the shots to relate their experience.

    By Aaron on Nov 21, 2003

  23. About 3 years ago, i had a car accident. I could barely walk for almost a year. Now that the pain is mostly gone, my neck starts hurting. I mean PAIN! To the point I broke my wisdom teeth grinding them together. I have no health insurance, and tried everything including “Super blue stuff”. The more time that goes by, the more it hurts. It feels like someone is squeezing my neck to the point my eyeballs hurt! I live in Illinois, and am currently unable to sleep tonight! Ive layed down for 4 hours, but can’t fall asleep. I’ve tried all pain meds and some over the counter stuff. Now, I am starting to have hard lumps at the base of my skull, where the pain orginates from. Anyone know a compassionate doctor in Illinois that could help me? Some night I cry myself to sleep because I hurt so much. Ive been shot by a gun before in my leg, and this hurts way more!

    Please help me!
    Im only 24, and feel like life is not worth living any more due to the pain never ceasing!

    David Robinson
    toolazy@2lazy.com

    By David Robinson on Nov 26, 2003

  24. I have been having typical sciatic pain. I have been going to the physical therapist for about 3 months (3X a day), getting massages lX a week, and going for acpuncture 1X a week. The pain is unbelievable! I am to have cortisone block shots (1 shot every week X’s 3) starting 3Dec03. I have heard horror stories on how bad it hurts. I have a high threshold of pain (broke and crushed 3 vertebra in car wreck) I have had lots of spinal blocks and even spinal tap. I have been told this pain from the shot feels like a blow torch on your back? I can take the pain but want to know what to expect. Please respond. Thanks Linda

    By Linda Tabb on Nov 27, 2003

  25. I slipped and fell a year and a half ago in a hospital lobby on melted ice cream. I thought I was OK for awhile until I was losing my balance, weakness in my shoulders, legs, etc. I eventaully had three epidural shots for C3-4. The doctor injected at C-7 and pushed the needle up. The only thing the shots did was make me gain an unbelievable amount of weight and now my lower back is extremely painful. It feels like there is a knife in my back and every time I move it goes in deeper.The pain goes down my leg, to my knees and ankle. I can’t sit at all! I have had a million trigger point injections. Two weeks ago a Dr. did a prolotherapy shot, which made things worse. I had a third MRI last week and the am waiting for the results. THe doctor is recommending epidural shots in the lower back. I would rather have an artifical disk put in where the disk is herniated. Anyone know anything about, or has had artifical disk surgery? Unfortunately this pain that back injury sufferers is worse than words can express. monica

    By monica on Dec 7, 2003

  26. I had my third injection a week ago for a bulged disc in my L5 area of my spine and I’m not sure if it helped because I did a little Christmas shopping and in the evening all the symptoms were there but not as extreme.I did not carry anything heavy either.My doctor told me I could not walk more than a mile because I still am not up to it. I was a very active person before this.I wonder if I will ever be the same again. I cannot have another shot for 6 months.My job is very repititous from the neck down but I was told my injury was not job related. Yeah right! Thank God I have some sickness benefits from my employer because I am off from work for 3 months already.I never dreamed it would take this long either.I worked at this job for 20 years also.

    By Janice on Dec 11, 2003

  27. Hi,

    Could someone tell me if getting an epidural cortisone shot is very painful?

    I am 32 y.o. and have had horrible low back pain and was referred to a pain clinic. They recommended first trying an epidural cortisone injection, and if that doesn’t work, to try a facet joint injection.

    I am a little nervous about the pain involved, and want a realistic sense of what to expect.
    Thank you!

    By Rebecca on Dec 16, 2003

  28. I have been through the whole mess except for surgery and i am scared to death. I have had the epidural shots and they did not help, and right now i am on 50mg of narcotics a day and that does not help much. I just had another steriod shot in the left but for the sciatica part of my injuries and i was wondering good that have caused a pain instant that was so severe it sent me to the hosiptal….anybody had this reaction

    By james on Dec 24, 2003

  29. I had the epidural shots (2) in July 2002 and had sucess for about 7 months. I was put to sleep for them so no pain. I now need them again as I get a shock every day in my lower back. It was a sucessful procedure for me.

    By lorac on Dec 26, 2003

  30. I have spondylolisthesis at L5S1. I am 30 years old and I have had 2 spinal fusions which have not worked, and to make matters worse, my problem is worse now, than it was when I had my original surgery. I just went in to the doc this morning, because I was recently rear ended, by a drunk driver. The accident wasn’t to bad but jarred me pretty good. When my lawyer sent me to his doc, a supposed reputable orthopedic surgeon, I was in for a big shock. He quickly examined me for about 2 seconds, and before I knew what was happening, he had his nurse hold me, and proceeded to give me 3 cortizone injections, WITH NO NOVICAINE. Tonight I was trying to find out some information regarding side effects of these injections, because I can not sleep due to severe pain. I feel alot of pressure at the sight of injection, not to mention along the entire right side of my spine. I am also feeling pressure in my hip and pelvis. I have taken 2 vicodin and a muscle relaxer to try to calm the pain down. So far, neither have worked. I would never recommend these injections, as for most people, they get very little relief.I am in so much pain I want to cry. Anyone have any solid information about serious side effects of these injections? Please email me. Thanks,
    Lori

    By Lori on Jan 7, 2004

  31. Hello to all of you who suffer from back problems. I am 35 years old. I am married, and a mother of three. I lead a very healthy, active lifestyle, including running, swimming, biking, and a student of martial arts. I am also an active RN who was injured in September caring for one of my patients. Since then I have had good days and then I have those days that I find myself crawling from my bed to the next place. After 4 months of this, the Dr. finally decided to do an MRI which confirmed DDD, and buldisc @L3. I have been on all kinds of meds. None seem to even dull the pain. I can’t get through the night without waking up a dozen times. Finally the Dr. has suggested an epidural cortisone injection. I go today and I am a little nervous, but it is difficult to imagine that the pain could be worse than what I’ve been dealing with for the past few months. I will let you all know how it went and what it is like. I have faith that this will help. I am trying to have a positive outlook. I want my life back, and I am determined to get it.

    By Kellie on Jan 12, 2004

  32. I just want to caution everyone on the use of cortizone,my father has a bad back and he was getting those shots for a while, he got about 10-15. well he has recently been diagnosed with myelodysplatic. this is a type of cancer in the marrow where there is too much white blood and not enough red. This is a terminal disease and we have heard stories from others that it may be linked to the cortizone. So i want to caution everyone using this drug.

    By bev on Jan 24, 2004

  33. I was in a car accident in august and have been agony ever since. I wound up with a bulging disc at L-4 and a herniation at L-5 not to mention a fractured par. I am going to get a cortizone injection tomorrow morning which i’m not looking forward to. I have a feeling it is more the fracture that is giving me the trouble rather then the disc because i have more pain in my tailbone rather then the lower back. Anyone else have pain in the tailbone area. It’s kind of like a burning feeling and not matter what i do I can’t get comfortable. They are talking about doing a fusion if this injections don’t work and that really freaks me out. Someone please put me at ease.

    By DEBBIE on Feb 3, 2004

  34. I actually had a fusuion back in May. They took the disk out and put in a titanium cage filled with bone graft material taken from my hip. It was basically 2 surgeries, one incision in my abdomen to take disk out, and another in my back to put in cage and bone screws. I know it sounds gruesome but I was asleep – it was a six hour surgery. I feel SO much better! No more sciatica, no more constant pain. It does get sore sometimes, but that’s to be expected. I have, however, spoken to people who had the same surgery and are worse off than they were before. My advice would be to exhaust all your other options before undergoing a fusion. Physical therapy, accupuncture, chiropractic, and anything else you can think of. A fusion is not something to go into right away, I’d think of it more like a final hope than a front line remedy. It is major surgery on your spine.

    I hope all goes well for you.

    By Aaron on Feb 4, 2004

  35. Hi Aaron, Just wanted to say thanks for your post. I heard fusion was pretty intense. As far as doing everything possible first I pretty much have. I am going to the chiropractor three times a week have done physical therapy pain medication muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory medication. and again I had the first epidural steroid injection today which by the way put me in agony especially after i sneezed it put me in tears immediately. I will say it has been a rough day hopefully tomorrow is better. The doctor said he honestly doesn’t think the injection isn’t going to work but he needed to try it first. At this point I just want the whole thing over with. I’m frustrated and tired of living like this. I just want my life back to normal with my husband and kids again.My husband had a discectomy a few years back and is doing great now so he knows what i’m going through and has been wonderful. At this point it look like sometime in the near future surgery looks pretty promising. Again thanks for taking the time to write.

    By Debbie on Feb 4, 2004

  36. I actually had a discectomy too, about a year and a half before my
    fusion. I never did feel like I was “fixed” after the discectomy. The
    surgeon who did my fusion said that I probably should have had a
    fusion the first time, judging by the shape my disk was in. So, in
    addition to exhausting all your resources before you resort to
    surgery, I’d also suggest you get a 2nd opinion and make sure they’re
    doing the surgery that is best for you.

    By Aaron on Feb 6, 2004

  37. going for my first epidural cortisone shot in a few days, i had back surgery on L4/L5 about 10 years ago. Just wondering what the risk of infection was or about getting arachnoiditis from these shots?

    By ted on Feb 19, 2004

  38. I have been reading all of the messages posted. I have not found any answers. I am interested in the process for the steriod injections. Interested in process and how much pain is associated with this process.

    By A Wingfield on Feb 19, 2004

  39. Hi everyone. Sounds like I am not the only one who would like to trade in this body for a new one. I am 36, male, and have always been very active (dirt bikes, surfing, rollerblading, backpacking, skiing, etc., etc.) Broke my back (L1 & L2)at 16, ruptured my L5/S1 disc (10mm) at 29, ruptured the same disc (17mm) at 31 and I know what it is like to cry from inescapable extreme pain. I admit I shed a few just reading these posts. After my first and second disc ruptures I had laminectom/discectomy surgeries. The first surger was a great success. I regained 95% of my original abilities. The second surger only aleviated the frequent leg cramps. Since this time I have lived with almost constant pain (approx. level 3 on a scale of 1-10). Not too bad but enough to keep me from ever getting a good nights sleep without medication. About 6 weeks ago I had an epidural injection. The procedure was not too bad, a little painfull, but more mentally disturbing I guess. From the minute the cortizone was injected my back pain about doubled! I figured that this was temporary and would likely subside within a couple weeks. After 3 weeks I started noticing weakness in my right leg. (previous disc herniations and associated pain was in my left leg)Since I started noticing this (now 3 weeks later) I have numbness down the front of my right leg, the quad muscles on the right leg almost do not work, I have weakness of the quad muscles in the left leg, frequent cramping in both legs, and level 6-7 pain in the lower back that radiates around my hips and down into the quads on both legs. I went from being able to climb trees to having trouble navigating a curb. What happened!? Just had another MRI (one of many over the last seven years) and there appears to be nothing significantly different. Has anyone had anything like this happen to them after getting an epidural shot? I know this may not appeal to most, but I will offer it anyway. I have been turned my life to Jesus for help and I have recieved a great deal of peace and strength during this period of HUGE pain. I hope there is an answer out there for relief of mine and everyone elses pain. May the Lord bless you all, cuz it sucks to be in this kind of pain.

    Costa Mesa, CA
    todd or (toad)

    By Todd on Feb 23, 2004

  40. I’m a very active 45 year old male with a bulged disc at L1/L2, caused by shoveling dirt 3 years ago. I’ve had 2 epidural injections with no negative side effects. Although I was nervous, neither injections were painful. The first worked great for 4 weeks then the pain came back. The second didn’t work much at all. What has helped me the most so far are exercises which strengthen your back and stomach muscles. I do these every morning when I wake up. It takes about an hour/day and I’d rather be doing other things, but it does help a lot. Good luck.

    By jim on Feb 24, 2004

  41. Hi everybody, I was researching Cortizone shots on the internet when I found this site, I suffer from lower back pain that goes to my left leg, but the MRI showed no disc problems. I’m scheduled to get cortizone shots on Friday the 5th & I’m a little worried whether or not it’s going to help & I’m also worried about gaining weight as a side effect. Please let me know if you gained weight as a result of this procedure.

    By Mariana Mekhaiel on Feb 26, 2004

  42. i’m 36 and after months of pain i went to get an mri done and have herniated/bulging disc L4 been using a topical anti-inflamatory which apparently works quite well. the doc says i should be in severe pain, mine is the worst he’s seen (he’s only 36 yrs old though). anyway i’ll be getting the first steriod shot next wed and plan to get 3 total. i’m not worried about anything yet. i know A LOT of people who’ve been down this road and are doing very well now. a bodybuilder friend of mine ruptured a disc or two two yrs ago and is doing extremely well (not doing weighted squats now however). i’m looking forward to getting the shots for the simple reason that i KNOW without them, i’ll continue to be in pain. if the shots don’t work however, then it’s on to the next step. i wish the best for everyone.

    -shawn

    By shawn on Mar 10, 2004

  43. In Jan of this year I hurt my lower back at work, I tried PT, vioxx and muscle relaxers with some relief except for PT made my back hurt more. After month of all this the dr decided to do a MRI{lol, lets get a diagnosis after we try to treat it, like a mechanic would try to fix a car without finding whats wrong with it}, and found that I have a bulging disc. Dr said I was not a canadite for surgery yet and recommended epidural shots. Well after reading this site and others I have decided not to have them. By the sounds of it they are only temporary fixes to a greater problem. To me the risk of more pain without relief out weigh the slim chance of relief without a cure. Also found in the MRI was arthritis and degenerative disc disease and what I have read about cortisone shots is that it can cause more degeneraition of the disc. From what I have read most people who get the shots have little or no relief with the shots. So for now I will continue with the medications and exercises and hope for the best.
    Susan

    By Susan on Mar 15, 2004

  44. I am 30 years old and i have a bulging disc L5 S1.I was a very active person and I stress WAS. I was working three jobs and going to the gym daily. I woke up one morning with excruciating pain down my left leg. After getting an MRI a year ago, I am now going for an epidural shot. I’ve tried everything from chiro, pt, acupunture, stretches, etc. etc. The pain has been more intense recently which has led me to make the decision on getting the shots. A friend of mine with 3 herniated discs had 3 shots and it helped him greatly. I’m aiming for a normal life and will do whatever it takes to get it. I go in next Tues for the first shot. Will keep you posted on my progress.

    By mike on Mar 16, 2004

  45. Hello, I have been trying to figure out if I should get the cortizone injections that my doctor has recommended. I’m very scared of the potentually adverse side effects of this treatment. I do not know what to do. I’ve read through everyones comments but still am unsure of what to do or expect. I would appreciate any additional information or experiences that may help me in making my decision. Thank you in advance for your help. I suffer with, neck, back and leg pain. I have been diagnosed with a degenerative diease affecting my spine and also have fibromyalgia. I am worried that the injections will trigger fibromyalgia pain, which symptoms are muscle pain and spasms. I have discussed this all with my mother, who I knew had a cortizone shot. She relayed that she had an injection which was the cause of her being paralized for six months when I was a child. I knew about her being paralized for a brief period but did not know the cause until now. I would like to know if anyone else has had this experience or of any other adverse side effects. Please I would really appreciate any advice. Thanks and I wish everyone help with your own individual health problems and relief from pain. Take care.

    By Darla on Mar 27, 2004

  46. My husband had surgery on his lower disc Dec.2004. His sciatic pain went away, but now he can’t bend forward and when he sits he is in extreme pain. He can barely get up. It has ruined his life. He started a new Physical therapist and they are trying to figure out why he can’t bend forward. We don’t know what to do.

    By Sherrie on Mar 28, 2004

  47. Just wanted to let all of you know, that i’m going through the same amount of pain. I hurt my back about 1 year ago today doing a deadlift with my buddies in the gym, the amount of weight i was trying to deadlift was apperently too much for my back(a busting 455lbs). When i lifted up with the 455lbs, i felt my back give out. I feel back dropping the bar and my buddies lifted my up very carefuly. As i was not in very much pain during the day until night time came. I woke up around 12AM in very bad pain in my lower butt & left hamstring along with lower back pain(bad pain). I went ahead and went about my night in bad pain taking my Motrin. As i woke up the next morning, still feeling very horrable. I proceeded to go to the Emergency Room. I saw a very nice doctor on call that was very helpful, he prescribed me a Lortab 7.5(narcotic) & prescription strength Motrin which was 600mg. Told me to rest for about a 2wks and if i didnt improve go to see a spine specialist..well 2wks later after i’ve rested and taking all of my pain medication, which i was written out for 40 Lortab 7.5′s. My back was still hurting, bad. I went to see my local family doctor in Thorntown, IN. Dr. Shank. Great doc by the way. He helped me out a lot, prescribing me a predinosolone steroid for 15 days. I proceeded to take that thinking everything would heal up after a month. After a month of taking the steroid(oral) i still was very much in pain no relief what-so-ever. I went ahead and called him back and told him that i’m still in pain. He went ahead and refered me to a spine specialist in Kokomo, IN Dr. Reilly M.D.. As i saw him the following week for an emergency visit, he sent me right up to the hospital for an M.R.I.(very long test). After that was done i went back home, then drove all the way back to Dr. Reillys office to see what kind of damage i had. I was told that i’ve got an Herniated L5/S1 Disc. Apperantly very painful and annoying pain. The doc went ahead and scheduled me an Cortisone steroid shot and on top of that he wrote me out a script for Ultram + Fexril. So, far after the medication i was OK, but the steroid shot is something that i think has been helping me out these past couple of weeks. It did great things for me, made me a little bloated. (water retention) went away 2 days after the shot. The steroid shot is very helpful in people with bad pain, please dont be afraid to take it, they give you an I.V. with a valium to help you not wig out with the shots. then give you a local Novacaine to help numb the area, after that they proceeded to give me the steroid shot, yes i felt a lot of pressure a little pain. I feel that this shot is a saver. Help this helps!!! NOTE: please people, dont go to doctors who insist on narcotics. They only cause addiction and family problems. A little pain medication from time to time to help fight pain is yeah, acceptable, but all the time every day is so bad. Please, Use non-addictive forms such as Ultram, Tylenol, Motrin, Aleve.

    - Sean

    By sean roberts on Mar 30, 2004

  48. I hear alot of what I’m going through. In Jan ’00, I ruptured L4-5 and S1 at work. I was
    made to wait 2 1/2 years for surgery. I also
    went through the injections with no relief.
    Since my injury, I break out in shingles on my
    back. I was told that the injections would
    block further outbreaks, so I at least expected
    that relief. Well, I broke out in shingles at
    the injection site. I called the Dr. and he
    would not believe it, so I went in to see him and
    prove to him that I had shingles. He had never
    seen this before, well at least he maybe will
    think twice about making those guarantees.
    Well I had surgery in Sept. ’02, they fused
    L-5 and S-1. Before I went in to surgery I
    begged the surgeon to PLEASE fuse L-4 L-5 and
    L-5 S-1, so that I wouldn’t have to do this again.
    When I woke from surgery, I asked and was told that he only fused L-5 S-1. I felt doomed. He also used a synthetic dna material to fuse the
    bones, it is supposed to promote bone growth.
    Well I don’t know about that, but I do know that
    the actual back pain, the bone pain, never went away. Surgery was recommended in April ’02,
    but I wasn’t impressed with the first one, so
    I stopped the Vicadin, started moving more,
    eventually , in Oct. ’03 I joined a health club
    with a padded track and started walking. I started out slow, wearing my back brace, a girdle,
    and anything else I could think of for support.
    After four years of hell, I was able to manage and
    tolerate the pain. I was getting back to being
    me, not the depressed creature that put on 45 lbs.
    Then in Nov. ’03, I was hit broadside (driver)
    doing 50 mph. The 82 year old lady ran a stop
    sign, I saw her but couldn’t stop.
    The MRI doesn’t show any damage to my low back,
    but I now have the nerve pain back. That was
    the one positive thing that came out of the surgery, and I hadn’t broken out in shingles for
    a good 9 mos. prior to this accident. Now I have
    this curse back in my life and I’m going to see another surgeon in May and will probably be
    having more surgery. I want my life back.
    I forgot to mention that on my first surgery,
    the surgeon went in through the left side of
    my abdomen near the hip bone. I have a 6 inch
    scar and I make terrible keloid scars. After the
    car accident, my scar felt as if it had ripped.
    I still have pain there and it radiates to my
    pelvic floor. So as far as surgery and injections
    go, I’m not impressed, but I feel like I have no
    other options. At this point, I’ll try anything.

    Thanks for the ear,

    Kathy

    By kathy on Mar 31, 2004

  49. I have been reading all of the posts and hope I get an answer from someone who has been through this.

    I woke up one morning thinking I had just “slept wrong” because I had a pain in my neck when I would turn it. As well as some pain under my left shoulder blade. Well after about 2 weeks the pain started getting worse and moved down my left arm a little. My thumb is tingling/numb and at times I have what feels like muscle spasms in my left arm if I lean forward or try to use my left arm.

    My family Dr. RX Motrin….didn’t touch the pain….then she tried another anti-inflamatory meds (cant remember the name now). That didn’t work…so she sent me for x-rays. The X-Rays showed arthritis in the left shoulder and neck with a degenerative cervical spine. So she referred me to the Spine Center.

    Well I went to the Dr. there at the Spine Center last week. He went over the ladder of treatment and what he thinks is wrong. He said even though it doesn’t show on the X-Rays he suspects I have a herniated disk C-6. He said first we will try a steroid pack, then the epidural/steroid shots then if that doesn’t work surgery.

    He sent me to get an MRI to be sure that is what is really going on. I went for it last night…first time getting an MRI not a pleasant experience IMO! At any rate I got through it and am now waiting to go back to the Spine Center next week. We will find ot the results of the MRI at that time. And he expects me to be prepared to get the shot if the steroid pack didn’t work.

    I only have 2 more days of the steroid pack and have seen no relief of symptons or pain. He RX Darvocet for the pain but I only take half a pill because I cant stand the feeling I get from taking a whole pill.

    I have been out of work since the beginning of March and just recently got married April 3rd. I was in pain during my wedding! We will be leaving May 6th to go on a cruise for our honeymoon so I was hoping this pain would be gone by now!!!

    I am DEATHLY scared to get the injections in my neck….I really do NOT want them but I dont know what else to do!!!! If anyone has any advice or can tell me EXACTLY what they feel like or what they do to prep you for the shots please let me know.

    Im a 35 yr old Mom of 3 teens here in NC and I feel like I’m trapped in an old body! I just want my life back again!!!!

    By Sandy on Apr 13, 2004

  50. I had my first shot steroid shot one month ago this wednesday my second one the wednesday before Easter. Now on my first shot he had me lay on my side, because it hurts so bad to lie on my stomach and he put the shot in at the base of my back where I am having trouble. He did not do this flouroscopicly (sp)he went in blind as I guess many of you have had. I had to miss the next days work because of the pain, but as the week went on it felt somewhat better I was not taking as many pain pills a day. This last time I went because the pain had been so bad from the last shot he had me sit up and double over and he put the shot in just a little over mid-way of my spine. I don’t know what he hit but when he did it pulled my head straight back and I let out a piercing scream that woke everyone up in that hospital and I passed out.
    When I came to I was nauseated and each time I tried to sit up I kept seeing black dots like I was fixing to pass out. I could not hardly move my legs after getting to my feet and the side that had never hurt which was my right side has been killing me ever since. I have been in so much pain I have had to miss work. Today I called my physician and told her about all of this and she has made me take a full week off of rest, from work to see if this will help it and where we might need to go from there.
    She thinks when he went in blind as she said that he got the nerves and injured them on the right side she explained it all to me.
    She told me from now on not to let anyone touch my back that is not looking in my back to see what they are doing. She said it is possible I could be like this from now on but she was hoping that we could do something about it.
    Anyone thinking about these shots I believe should think about doing it floroscoply I think that is how you spell it. They will sedate you or not and they go in and know what they are doing and what they are touching and where they are injecting this medicine.
    I was in bad enough shape and bad enough pain before, now it has quadrupled.
    Hope yours works for ya’ll
    Lynette

    By lynette on Apr 19, 2004

  51. Hi everyone,

    I am 29 and I’ve injured my back in late 2000. I had 3 cortisone shots in Jan 2001 and Ihave been fine until August of last year. I left my job which is very physical in Nov. 2003 and tried everything. I have and HNP at L4/L5 region and as of last year my pain has gotten worse. Pain in lower back radiating to my left butt cheek and down the left leg into my foot. I did physical therapy, accupuncture, chiropractor, and prescription drugs. I finally went back and had three shots and am still having trouble. I am now considering surgery and trying to research it to get the one that is best for me. Good luck to all of you with your backs and it’s such a shame there are so many of us suffering from this horrible pain. If I have any success with surgery, I’ll be sure to let you know.

    By Sharon on May 26, 2004

  52. Im a 44 yr old male who recently was diagnosed with athritic back pain after months of pain killers vicadin and such i was scheduled for my first shot. I have never felt so much pain in my intire life when the doctor started to push the fluid in my back i have a very strong pain tolerance i cannot believe there isnt a simpler way im scheduled for another shot this monday and the monday after i have noticed some pain relief but im not sure i want to go back is it true that if the doctor pushes nice and slow it doesnt hurt he said he numbed it and everything. i just feel like something wasnt done right to many people say its a piece of cake and they had to hold me down because i almost jerked out needle. any comments would be appreciated

    By KEN on Jul 8, 2004

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