Can you provide a bit more detail, about the levels of the spine involved, and the severity of the problems? Stenosis can be in two places in the spine, the neuroforamen (where the nerve roots exit from the spinal cord at each vertebra) or the central canal where the spinal cord runs through the spine. DJD, otherwise known as degenerative disc/joint disease, isn't really a disease, In the spine, the discs over decades loose some of their height and moisture as we get older. This is a normal process of getting older and is found in almost everyone over the age of 18 to some degree. In some people, there can be more disc drying because of our jobs, and more than normal wear and tear usually from prolonged physical labor.
Injections of steroids can reduce inflammation and swelling around a nerve root when there is increased pain.
Paralysis or death is an extremely rare occurrence, since injections are usually done near the nerve root and not near the actual spinal cord itself.
I'm not sure where you heard paralysis is a risk or even death as a result of injections.
This link might help you to understand injections a bit better.
As far as finding a new pain management doctor, many are getting away from prescribing long term opiates, especially if a patient refuses other treatment options. You can check your insurance website and look up pain management offices in your area. Another option is to ask your primary doctor for a referral. Call your local hospital who may have a list of names they can offer.
Something you may want to keep in mind, is many pain management doctors require a referral, your previous records and tests, prior to seeing you. Typically, a new pain management doctor does not provide opiates on the first visit, and usually requires a urine screen at the first appt. Even if the new doctor agrees opiates are part of his recommended treatment, he may and likely will change the medication and dosage you were on before to a medication he feels may be a better option
Good luck, let us know how you make out.
No, I don't use a TENS unit .. really have never heard of it .. but have had therapy like that w/ shock treatments and such .. it buzzed too .. electric shocks is all it is .. yeah .. that helps for a small part of one day .. but that's about it .
I am on muscle relaxers too for the spasms ..
tizanidine .. it helps some .. but doesn't completely do the trick .
'injections can't cause paralysis unless the spinal cord is damaged by the needle, and that happening would be extremely rare' .. though that may be rare .. it only takes that one time to do it for ya . That's not the only thing that can go wrong with that .. as I said .. read this --> https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/sunday-review/steroids-and-back-pain-an-uneasy-match.html I'm also hyperallergic from blackwidow bites .. can't even have a flu shot anymore .. last one almost killed me .. because of the spider bites. I was in ICU for 3 days .. so a foreign substance like injections might mess me up as well .. so, that's a fear .. Why take that risk when I simple drug pill can ease that pain so well.
It doesn't make me high or anything at all .. because it has a place to go to .. all that pain .
After taking it , I feel normal .. not high ..not hurting .. That is why I am for it so much.
But, since people are falling like flies from opioid abuse, it makes it difficult for people like me who really need it to get it .. That pisses me off .. but what can one do ...
Also, this is what brought the dangers to my attention last year .. here where I live
I understand, as do most people with chronic spine pain and issues.
The major concern for patients on long term meds is trying to keep our opiate doses as low as we can. In the current environment, many doctors are shying away from allowing the ongoing use of pain meds, severely cutting back patients and enforcing both the contracts and utilizing other treatment modalities. In fact, I have heard of many patients being cut off of pain meds for refusing to comply with injections, physical therapy, excercise programs, and more are substituting opiates with nerve pain meds, anti depressants which also help treat nerve pain.
If there is a legitimate concern, i.e. allergic reaction, or medical condition which contradicts the injections or makes them dangerous, doctors may go along with the refusal, but in many cases they want documentation to PROVE an allergy or complicating medical condition.
I wish you luck in finding a doctor who will work with you. It's hard enough as it is to get treatment, so when you find one that works with you, hang onto them.
Have you ever discussed what the treatment options might be if the physical therapy, injections, neuropathic pain meds, and other modalities fail?
I know that most pain management doctors have drastically reduced the reliance on opiates/opioids for patients, but they also realize that some patients have exhausted all the other options, repeatedly, and after having tried them several times, opiates, muscle relaxers and nerve pain meds are the only partially effective option.