Do Steroid Spinal Epidurals Make You Worse Or Better?

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Ktb Says:
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Hi, I wanted to ask if any of you have had any success or made worse having steroid epidural shots? I had one 8 weeks ago for the first time. I don't have major spine problems but did get thrown out of a car in a wreck. My dx is lupus, hernia, lymphadenopathy with B symptoms, and my foot is numb. Lupus has an entire list of symptoms so I won't engage on that. I'm trying to explain the best of my ability how I feel after my first inj. I have pain at times like it's heart attack symptoms, I have fluid retention, it hurts to move my neck, it hurts to walk and I've currently been unable to run our company in the last 3 weeks. I am so much more weaker too. I know this was to help joint pain but I feel it's set off more problems than I bargained for. Also prior to the epidural, I was running a fever and I run a fever a lot with lupus with a low white blood cell count. I tried explaining this but the drs office stated I couldn't have the one pain medicine I get if I didn't have that shot. Never in my life have I seen how a dr's office can hold you hostage for one medicine. I can't take any of the better pain meds and went through several until I could find one to work so I didn't want to lose that. I'm also wondering how can so many patients be taken off an FDA approved medication and be given an expensive non FDA approved inj.? That's backwards! I would love to hear some of your experiences with this type of procedure & what your condition is. Thank you!



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BJ Says:
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I have had a spinal epidural shot and other steroid shots for lower back pain, sciatica, muscle pain etc, and they only work until the numbness goes away. At least in my case. Right after the spinal epidural shot, I felt great but a few days later, the pain was back.
I remember the shot was extremely painful and I certainly would want to trust the doctor who is going to administer it. The spine is something you don't want an amateur messing with.

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Ktb Says:
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Re: BJ (# 1)

Thanks for your response ! Yes , I didn't get sedated and it was a very painful procedure. I haven't had any relief except as you mentioned about the numbing part . I heard it's not FDA approved but their pushing those injections and taking away FDA approved medicines. It seems backward !

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Angry 65 year old Says:

Re: Ktb (# 2)

I know very little about Lupus but I would be very leery of Steroids with any systemic disease. Vernon will know more --I just know that Cortisone and Steroid injections are somewhat dangerous when systemic or whole body disease is present. Good Luck Sweets.

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Kelly Says:
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I have degenerative joint disease which effects just about every joint in my body. I have had back surgery and both shoulders have been done but due to heart problems I can’t have surgery again.
I have now been having injections in my back, neck, hands and shoulders with very good results. I also am on 10/325 hydrocodone and hysingla. My pain is not gone but is within a tolerable level. I have had little to no side effect with the injections except to mild when first time. It’s been about five years now so I don’t remember the details. I also have early stage Alzheimers which helps to kill my past memories in some ways.
I wish you the best and hope you will find relief as I have.

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julie Says:

Completely useless! I had surgery on my lower spine, L3-4 about 3 years ago. Still get pain in that area and the vertebra about, L2 is now out of alignment. I seriously wonder wether this whole industry isn't a total rip-off. The shots are the worse! I've had several and they either did nothing to improve my pain or actually made it worse. How do they get away with it!??

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Shell Says:

Re: Kelly (# 4)

Where is heavens name to they fill a script for your pain med, can't possibly be FL.

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Me Says:
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I have had many steroid epidurals over the past 20 years. 1st is having the right doctor. If they miss, you will have 0 relief. One shot could last me 3 to 12 months. (A series of 3 shots). Mine only hurt a tiny bit, while he pushed the medicine in. Your experience was nothing like mine.

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Ktb Says:
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Re: julie (# 5)

I'm wondering same thing ! Im assuming like another said it's all in who does the procedure and I guess some people respond differently but I've heard more negative things than good . The numbing felt good but after that I'm not sure what happened ! I have a high pain tolerance & the shot was to help all the swollen joints but I have had weight gain , more swelling , trigger point tenderness & and my face goes numb at times . I've researched it and some drs are highly against & some patients were made worse after so many ! I'm glad some got positive results but I definitely didn't !

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9
Cookie Says:

I have had plenty of those injections. Mine came in sets of 3, once a week for 3 weeks. I had probably 5 sets of them. They helped me on the day of the injection, but after that I got no relief at all. And I found them so painful. The doctor wanted to do more, but I'm on worker's comp. and they wouldn't agree to it since they weren't of much help. But that's just me, maybe some one else had better luck. I wish you the best.

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10
tim111 Says:

Welcome to the dollars & cents of chronic pain suffers. I broke my back in 1990 and due to a screwed up surgeon that removed the wrong things out of me and just the nature of my injury I have had cp for many years. It took maybe 10 years to find the correct meds that gives me some comfort. Not many dr's want to write my script due to its long action and possibility of od. I have had several drs. retire, move, whatever. What I find is they ALL want to start you with those shots, last time I looked they cost more than 1200.00 per shot and most want to give you 3. So 3600.00 is a bit more than an office visit and a few pieces of paper. I had 11 and none of them helped. I had terrible reactions to them & I believe they made it worse for a few months. I never met anyone that benefited from them EXCEPT the dr. My experience is dr's are overly careful & rightfully so with the abuse and such. I would search for another dr. IF I were you, as it will only become worse and one day he will tell you he will not see you anymore for anyone of the hundreds of reasons they give. I've had GREAT doctors, so/so doctors, and a couple that made the visit feel like a drug deal. It's a very sad state we live in these days as the junkies have ruined a noble profession. It disgusts me to think someone spends all those years and money then has his or hers life destroyed because they tried to help someone's suffering. May our Lord bless you.

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Margonot Says:

I aways tell people with neck pain. Try acupuncture. Needling in the hand or back of the neck in 1-2 points is always effective. This sometimes relieves pain in other areas of the back where it can also be the cause. Needling on the inside, just above the ankle is effective. Results should be immediate within 30 minutes.

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Elgee Says:

I've had two, about 6 weeks apart. Neither one gave me any relief for my spinal stenosis/arthritis lower back pain. In fact, they had absolutely no effect, good or bad. My doctor is one of the best...he's even the orthopedic doctor for all the major sports teams in the nearby city, so great credentials. The shots just didn't work in my case.

Now I'm looking to give acupuncture a try. If that doesn't work after a fair trial, it'll be on to surgery, which is a last resort for me.

Sorry to hear you're having so many difficulties with your experience.

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Me Says:
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Wow, what differences. I couldn't wait to see my doctor. I watched everything on the monitor. The only time it was uncomfortable was administering the meds..my leg hurt, showing he hit the right spot. My legs were numb for a few hours, like going to the dentist, and was sore the next morning. I also have DDD, spinal stenosis, Facet Disease, OA, "failed back syndrome" and had 1 surgery at l5, s1 and 6 spinal surgeries from s1-L2-3 cracked coxix and bottom vertebrae.

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Ktb Says:
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Margonot (# 10) --

I've heard about that treatment . Unfortunately, with lupus it seems to have a mind of its own . It's like 6 different types of pain and odd sensations but knocking out one is a relief ! Especially whenever opiate therapy is being hammered and I found low dose opiate therapy (I can only tolerate one ) still works excellent for me but if increased it don't . So it's weird but you have to take a couple weeks then stop on days that's not bad and retake . I'm probably just different !! The stomach doesn't bleed as it did with all NSAIDs they gave me but I do stay active as much As my body will allow me and I have no choice because we have our own company to run and I don't get sick days !!! Thank you for the tip ! I'm sure others will find that useful too ! I have got good results with some oils like tea tree and massages . I set in jacuzzi at times for the heat . That's about all I know that works with lupus , and other things caused by it . Hopefully one day there will be a cure !

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LAW Says:

Get thee to a great teaching hospital then get its top rheumatologist. I mean Hopkins, or Mass General, or Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic or NYUMedical and the like. Don’t fool around with some local yokel.
The top two suggestions for lupus as generalities go: always get enough sleep(8 hours) and stay out of the sun, I.e. no sun bathing, cover up arms, legs, etc., wear sunblock and a hat when in the sun. Those are basic.

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Deborah Says:
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I would love to see somebody sued for making a lumbar steroid shot protocol before giving a prescription for pain medication. I’m sorry this happened to you. Don’t repeat the shot! I encourage you to call the doctor who gave the shot to let them know it didn’t work and now, you’d like your pain medication.

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Ktb Says:
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Re: Me (# 13)

Oh wow your poor back has had it !!! Yeah my leg hurt very bad & it was the leg I thought was good . I don't have a lot of back problems it's mostly the lupus which led to a number of things that's miserable ! Then I was just dx with a type of lymphoma which was just lympnopathy with B symptoms but today my blood work off or something & the lymphnodes are all swollen up but I will know more about that Thursday . I'm so glad you got some good results out of your injection !! That's great !! And yes everyone responds differently to things and unfortunately I didn't have a good experience! But maybe a lot of mine is having other things so I honestly don't know anymore but thank you for your positive input ! I hope you continue to progress under such terrible circumstances!!

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Ktb Says:
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Re: tim111 (# 10)

Wow you been through a lot to! Yes I agree we live in some very difficult times & its uncalled for. Oh the price of my procedure was almost 5k! My insurance covered it all but 500. I couldn't believe how expensive and I think I need to go back to make sure I wasn't charged for being sedated because I refused to be relaxed or sedated, big mistake! And it seems to be divided on relief but I do know it damages bones if to many steroids are given. I don't have many back problems except when I was thrown from a car and whenever my horse ran over me. I think MRI showed herniated disc and something else I forget Bc the lupus alone has completely thrown me for a big surprise & everything else they seem to find. My 30s and soon 40 just hasn't been a lot of fun! You go from active and I could do gymnastics and I farm which is hard but it's a poultry and cattle company we own so I don't exactly get sick days! Then all of sudden your stopped! I still try to go but only 1 pain medicine I can take and everyone else can't take Bc they say it doesn't work but for me it helps some and then they took me off all NSAIDs and steroids oral because it made my stomach bleed. So yeah I'm ranting lol! I do wish that shot worked! I know the cold stuff felt wonderful!! Thanks for your reply and good luck to you!

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Margonot Says:

Re: Elgee (# 12)

Acupuncture is effective for neck pain but not the rest of the back. The reason is, there is a high concentration of nerves in the neck versus the lower back. Usually, it is nerve compression which brings on the pain. Nerve compression results in swelling which acupuncture resolves.

As a sufferer of intermittent back pain, I find back exercise as prescribed by Worksafe, British Columbia most effective. This shouldn't surprise anyone as muscle strengthening can replace joint problems. We see this especially in the knee when a damaged knee can be resuscitated to normal function just by exercise. An 82 year old woman, still competing in figure skating fractured her hip and tore her anterior cruciate ligament in her knee recovered fully without surgery just by muscle strengthening exercise. Of course she had open surgery on her hip.

The spinal column functions as one unit. Treatment by specialists focus on one point, the location of the cause of the pain, usually the pressure on a nerve. Relief by removing that pressure will fail because when the offending bone is removed, usually by laminectomy, although there is immediate relief causes the pressure to move to a different location. Almost without exception, after the surgery, the patient says he is pain-free but 2 or more years later is worse off than before. I am a retired FD and have only seen one recovery from all my referrals, where I treated the woman with acupuncture with relief of pain. However she still had objective signs of nerve compression so I sent her for surgery. The surgeon did not operate but inj. the prolapse of the disc with chymopapain.

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Elgee Says:

Re: Margonot (# 19)

Thank you so much for your detailed response. I appreciate the time you spent on it

I'm hoping to find "the" answer to my situation. Am currently bouncing around a bit between orthopedic specialists, my chiropractor, etc. I'm willing to listen to and explore any informed options at this point. In fact, it was my chiropractor who recommended I see an acupuncturist.

It's forum boards like this that often give the one piece of information one needs to resolve their situation. I found the clue to interstitial cystitis on a similar board after being misdiagnosed for many years.

Again, thanks for your help!

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