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363110 tn?1340924019

I'd like to hear about your experience on spinal injections for back pain.

So FINALLY I'm set to go in for spinal injections on Dec 1st for this back pain I've been having for the last 3 years. Xrays and all that don't show anything, not even MRI's show anything and they haven't ever shown anything to account for my pain.

The pain mgmt Dr. thinks that I had a muscle injury when I fell that for some reason hasn't ever healed as it should and 3 years later I still deal with chronic lower back pain just to the right of my spine.  Some of you know this but I fell down the stairs shortly after my first son was born and hit my back on the stairs. I've been on so many different therapies including the narcotic methods like morphine and now Nucynta (sp?).
He told me that they're going to sedate me some to take the edge off and then do the shots.
For those who had the injections, what kind did you have?    

Did they just give the corticosteriod or did they put in some numbing medication with it?

How well did they work?

I know it may not work for more than a few months or they might work fine and I may not require extra treatments
27 Responses
1331804 tn?1336870958
Hi Martika,

I am so sorry to hear about your injury to your back.  It looks like you are getting good care from your physician.

It sounds like they are planning to do trigger point injections.  I have never had those, I have only had lumbar epidural steroid injections (5 of them so far).  I have lumbar degenerative disc disease with lumbar radiculopathy.  1 bulging disc impinging on the S1 nerve root and 1 ruptured disc moderately indenting the thecal sac.  I also deal with myofacial pain syndrome (fancy term for muscular pain).  For me, the injections help a lot but for only a short time (4 to 6 weeks) and they are repeated every 3 months.

But not everyone gets relief from either trigger point or epidural injections.  The way the body responds to the injections is different for everyone such that some get substantial pain relief and others get no pain relief at all.  

I really hope the injections help for your pain.  If your MRI came up with nothing, it is likely that your spine is okay.  You may be left with chronic pain as a disease from your injury such that the pain signals keeps firing up to the brain even after the injury has healed.  A lot of times when this happens, it is due to nerve damage.  I don't know if you have tried neurontin or lyrica but these anti-convulsant medications used off-label for nerve pain have been very helpful for many of us here.  I myself take neurontin.  Something additional to consider in the management of your pain.  

You could also try self-accupressure through use of a theracane.  I have found this therapy to be very effective at reducing my pain levels.  And in fact I need to jump on that therapy right now but this pain is getting riddiculous!  But the theracane is used to apply deep pressure to the trigger points located in your back, buttocks, legs, shoulders, neck, feet and arms.  These trigger points send radiating pain from the source and deep pressure applied to these trigger points with a deep rotating massage through use of the theracane has been very helpful with getting the trigger points to "turn off" temporarily.  

I hope your injection(s) go well and feel free to keep us updated on how you are doing.

femmy
Avatar universal
Hello, I have had a million injections. In my lower, med and cervical spine. I have 9 herniated disks all in my spine. The process in very easy, and Im glad you are being sedated, some Dr's do not sedate and that hurts like a ****.  I was usually sore for the first 2 days, you must have someone drive you home ( and they do check that you have a ride) Go home and ice it and rest. Eat lightly. Next day you can work just take it easy. It usually takes about 5 dyas to feel some results. I have had very good results in my neck, and no results in my lower back. It all just depends. I think it has alot to do with how good your Dr is and how good their aim is and also how good you are at explaining exactly where your pain is. I have since had a spinal cord stimulator implanted and have not needed any injections since feb 20011. But my neck is starting to act up so I may in in for some soon. I wish you best of luck. Let me know how you make out. ............


Denise
874521 tn?1424120397
femmy I also have suffered for years with radiculpathy pain and have found tremendous relief using neurontin however I would appreciate it if you could tell me more about 'theracane' is this a device and where can they be purchased?
thanks....O
1801781 tn?1461633069
I have had two trigger point shot over the years and they always helped.  
1331804 tn?1336870958
Hi Opus,

A theracane is a candy cane like object that has little nobs on the various ends of it.  If you google "theracane", websites where you can purchase along with website showing techniques will pop up.  Also google "trigger points" and a couple of websites should pop up that show where all of the various trigger points are located on the body and which ones cause radiating pain to a particular area.  I find this very useful as I can target the specific trigger points that are causing radiating pain up the sides of my lower back or pain down the sides of my thighs, etc.  Most times where the pain is, is not where the pressure needs to be applied.  

I got mines about 10 years ago when I was going through physical therapy.  It is really good at breaking up the thick bands of muscle that sometimes surronds the triggerpoints throughout the body.  Breaking up these thick bands of muscle through applying deep pressure and massage by use of the theracane has been very helpful at relieving the radiating pain that comes with radiculopathy and myofacial pain syndrome.  It has been way more helpful than a deep tissue massage and much cheaper too!  The massage therapists could never get as deep as I requested but the theracane does.  

When you hear a lot of popping during the theracane therapy it means that you are breaking up those thick bands of muscle.  Be sure to drink lots of water afterwards and stretch out the deeply massaged areas well.  You may also find it helpful to take a low dose of an anti-inflammatory (200 mg of alleve works very well for me) to reduce the inflammation caused by the self-accupressure.  After that, the pain relief can last up to a month for me.  However when first starting out, it is best to use it more frequently as the muscle tissue is more resistant at first but over time the muscle tissue becomes more compliant and doesn't knot back up so quickly.  If you do decide to try it, let me know how it goes!  :)  Oh, and it is also great for deep massage of the feet and arms and legs too!  And, it works wonders at loosening tight shoulders and the muscle tissue on the sides of the lower part of the neck.  

femmy
874521 tn?1424120397
wow thankyou that looks like the cats meow...so to speak lol.
there must be 100 retailers listed, I'm in Canada so will have to browse abit to see the best shipping deal etc....
I've been doing 'self' acupressure for years..usually using something like a soup can or hard ball...this looks much more versatile.
thanks again.
1331804 tn?1336870958
You're very welcome!  It is quite the spa treatment for sure! :)  

You'll notice that there are shorter ones probably arm's length and much longer ones.  They didn't have the longer theracanes when I got mines 10 years ago but the longer ones are supposed to be better as you can make your feet do most of the work versus using your arms and hands.  

Oh and yes, I used to use the good ole' tennis ball as well until at one of my physically therapy appointments, the therapist handed me this candy cane looking thing and I asked, "what's that crazy thing?".  She showed me how to use it and told me to give it a try and I have been in love ever since! lol!

femmy  :)
363110 tn?1340924019
Thanks so much for responding!
The Doctor told me that the injections they're gonna do are deeper than the regular ones, I guess to right near the spine so they can get to the nerve roots?

I know specifically where my pain is and can literally draw a circle where it starts and radiates to.
Thanks for the info on the Theracane and accupressure. I've practiced deep tissue massage (as well as I cld manage myself) on the area and it's helped some so I'm very interested in the Theracane.

Opus88~ I currently take Neurontin 1200mg 3x a day  and it helps TREMENDOUSLY.... otherwise I'm hurting so badly that I can't function.


I called the Pain mgmt office today to be sure everything was settled and I need xrays right now (and they won't show anything).
1331804 tn?1336870958
Hi Martika,

I believe you are getting an epidural injection versus a trigger point injection based on your description of the injection in your last post.  I have had 5 of these so far.

They will inject the epidural needle into the epidural space and inject a powerful steroid medication that will bathe the nerve roots and reduce the inflammation as inflammation causes pain signals to be sent up the spinal cord to the brain.

Please let us know how your injection goes on the first!

femmy  :)
363110 tn?1340924019
Thanks for the info on the injections!

I found an instructional video online on spinal injections and how they're given. Basically that type of spinal injection is about the same as when a woman gets a spinal for a C-section?

When you have had the Epidural injections do you remember if they put in any numbing medication along with the steroid medicine?

Or did they just go ahead and put only the steroid medication in by itsself?
1331804 tn?1336870958
Hi Martika,

You are absolutely correct that it is same type of injection used during labor but the injection is typically much lower if you are getting a lumbar epidural.  I had a C-section as well and the epidurals during labor were much worse than this as you feel your heart racing and other weird stuff because they are injecting a narcotic medicine.

They will most likely inject the area with lidocaine first.  This is how they have done it every time with me.  And to me, the lidocaine injection is the worst part as it stings a little bit.  You may only feel pressure when the epidural needle is inserted (sometimes there is a little pain but I only felt slight pain the first few times and after that, it was only pressure) .  They should use an X-ray machine to properly place the needle which is hooked to an IV machine like device.  Once the epidural needle is properly placed, they turn on the machine and the medicine flows in (usually medrolprednisone) and you're done!  :)

They put you in observation for 15 minutes after the procedure and then you can go home and rest.  :)

femmy
363110 tn?1340924019
Thanks! and a Late Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you had a good one.  An update:
The doctor reviewed my Xrays and found nothing (but I knew that already!)

Your right that the worst part of the epidural is the lidocaine. The darn needle stings bad when it goes in to numb the area. I'm talking about when I have had them for my Csections.

They are gonna use Fluoroscopy during the procedure (I'm familiar with so many things medical wise, lol)

How many injections should I be getting?  
Just the one actual spinal injection or several?

Does having the injction cause your pain to worsen for a while afterwards?
If so, how long did it worsen the pain for you after your injections?

I'm asking because we're moving hopefully on the 5th to our new house and Im hoping to at least be able to help a lil
.  
THANK YOU again!
Cindie
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