I've had 5 epidural now for problems at the disc at C5-C6, the last one included a nerve root block. For me, I find that they do help quite a bit (sometimes the first one doesn't do much, but the second one six weeks later does the trick). They're not likely to provide long-term relief however. I've had mine provide significant relief for several months, but still manage to provide enough relief for up to a year to be worth it. My Mom's had the same experience with her lower back. Other people I've talked to found them worthless... so, its an individual thing.
They inject the epidural space with steroids and a numbing agent. So you get instant relief from the numbing agent, and hopefully the steroids will take down the inflammation and provide a longer lasting relief.
I've not yet had any spinal surgery. I know people that it helped, and people that said they wished they hadn't had the surgery. Personally, if you can, I'd avoid the surgery, and try a series of epidurals (they will usually give you as many as three, spaced six weeks apart, if needed). If the epidurals don't provide enough relief, then there's still surgery as an option.
I had a series of three lumbar epidural injections to help relieve severe facet arthritis. A facet joint is where the bones from two vertebrae come together. There is one on each side and this is where nerves exit from the spinal cord to the body. I have several bulging discs in the lumbar and cervical spine but NO herniations or cord pressure.
I had intermittent back pain for years that was forced into a new gear after knee replacement surgery. I believe that surgery altered my leg length and my spine had to make major adjustments.
Facet joint arthritis can cause pain in the buttocks and thighs and down the legs. I had it all and was taking oxycontin daily and Vicodin or Darvocet up to several times a day to keep the pain tolerable. I went to a pain management doctor (who is an anesthesiologist) because I wanted to get off the narcotics if possible.
After the first injection I had about 40% improvement. Two weeks later he did injection #2 but used a different steroid in hopes of a better result. That got me to about 65-70% improvement and off the oxycontin completely. I developed an unrelated skin infection on my leg before the final injection so had to postpone it until the infection was cleared. Injection #3 was done six weeks after #2 and used the same steroid.
I never had immediate relief and don't know that there was any numbing medication injected with the steroid. I had a very gradual progression of relief with each injection. Within a few weeks of the last injection I realized I was going days at a time with nothing but my daily Celebrex for pain. Two months later I sometimes take the Darvocet on the days I'm on my feet a lot at work. Many times I'm able to just tough it out.
My son-in-law had epidurals that didn't help. Then he had facet injections that helped very little. He got relief from nerve ablation for about a month. He also likes to go snowmobiling and tends not to practice good back health when he's feeling better. His mother had a series of three epidurals about the same time and has had terrific relief. All three of us had lumbar spine procedures.
I'm hoping this relief lasts a year or longer, especially if I can strengthen my back and lose some weight while I'm feeling and moving better. I just need the MS to cooperate too. I've found a few minutes in an inversion chair daily to also be quite helpful over the long term. (I can't use a table and hang from my ankles because of the joint replacement.)
I personally thought the injections were a little worse than my LP but they were over much quicker and I didn't have to lie flat afterwards. All were done under fluoroscopy. The doctor doing the LP at least allowed the skin numbing injection time to work before proceeding with the spinal needle insertion.
I will repeat these injections without hesitation if the pain becomes intolerable or starts to limit my activity again (even though I pay a much bigger portion of pain management fees). It's worth it in relief from pain, freedom from drugs and elimination of the time and money expenditures involved in the frequent office visits required when being prescribed opiates.
I hope this is helpful in some way and you can get some pain relief too. I'm just not sure the injections can help as much with herniation into the spinal canal. It seems that would require surgery to prevent permanent damage to the cord and loss of function.
Thank you thank you thank you
I will research the nerve block. and the inversion chair also. I am worried about something going wrong as it is more common with cervical block.. the Ms complicates it all due to spasm. what is the highest amount of baclofen , lyrica, you have taken? if any. joy
I did not have injections but did have cervical spine surgery Jan 09, for spinal cord compression. I had 2 discs done. I don't think this is what you meant by "minimally invasive surgery" but thought I would chime in.
I haven't had pain since, although I have another disc above the 2 I had done that is herniated, but it is not touching the spinal cord, so I am not doing anything for it. (I hope and pray it stays that way!)
I have 2, but for my lower back pinched nerve. first one didn't work second one did. not entirely, but enough to help fuction. Only thing, some of the pain has come back, but not as bad, have to learn how to move, and walk differently, so as not to aggravate it.
what kind of suplements and where do yu get them as cheap as possible to help joints. the mail order stuff is so expensive. fish oil, chondroitin glucosamine msm
I found a spray at a farmers market that had boswellia that helped . the joint i forgot to spray it on was the one that ached. i am juicing, eating raw, seafood only no milk no wheat no sugar)mostly) no caffeine...........so what is there rice, beans, tofu, tahini, nuts dried and fresh fruit, steam veggies.......... lots of whats on sale and organic if i can afford it. middle and old age isnt fun unless it doesnt hurt. not hurting is a full time job, and change takes work
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