I had a cervical MRI yesterday and my doctor emailed me and said that I have "a protruding disk which causes impingement of the nerves and also causes a instability of the vetebrae called spondylolisthesis". He said that this is what is causing my neck and head pain and is setting me up with a doctor to get an epidural infusion.
What exactly does this mean? Are epidurals usually effective for this? I have tried PT in the past for my pain and have been treating it with large doses of ibuprofen, but a recent endoscopy showed that I have moderated to severe inflammation/ulceration from the ibuprofen so I have to stop taking that. Any other suggestions?
When the discs between the vertebrae bulge they don't have to bulge very far before they start pinching a nerve. When the nerve gets pinched there will some inflammation which causes stiffness and further pinching and more pain and more inflammation. They will inject some steroid into the epidural space around the spinal cord. After the first day or two, the steroid should help reduce the inflammation and decrease the pinching and hopefully stop the cycle. Also, hopefully the disk will heal and stop bulging and pinching the nerve which would then relieve your pain.
Be sure to take smaller doses of ibuprofen with food more often rather than taking the big doses less frequently. Also don't take it and then go lay down flat immediately. That gives it a chance to cause irritation.
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