I would guess that a majority of posters have had an epidural. It is a common first step in attempting to resolve a pain issue.
Whether it "works" or not varies from person to person and from ailment to ailment. Some people I know have been able to completely avoid surgery and have had their pain reduced to the point that they could return to normal daily activities. I was never that lucky.
One friend has had complete, lasting relief, but I think most people who do get some relief, find it lasts anywhere from a couple weeks to maybe six months or more.
What are your symptoms? What else have you tried by way of treatment?
Last edited by teteri66; 02-26-2012 at 10:26 AM.
The Following User Says Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post: BelleoftheSouth (02-27-2012)
I had epidurals multiple times and they did not help me. However I have talked to others who did get some relief. In my opinion it depends on what is wrong with you, so I would listen to your doctor if thats what he wants to do. They are not near as bad as you think they will be. They gave me verset, I may have spelled that wrong, and the procedure was no big deal.
The Following User Says Thank You to Bradleyh100 For This Useful Post: BelleoftheSouth (02-27-2012)
I've had 2 done now the first one lasted me for a couple of weeks until I overdid it. Just had one done last week the jury is still out on this one. It's a minor procedure and is worth the minor pain you get for the first couple of days. For some it will let them avoid surgery altogether and get back to a better life with less pain.
The Following User Says Thank You to timeload For This Useful Post: BelleoftheSouth (02-27-2012)
Thank all of you for your responses. I do get injections every 5-6 weeks and it is to the point that they're not working as well.
My new pain mgmt doctor told me that the epidural injection would hurt a whole lot more that the injections I'm getting now. Why would he say something like that? He drove me away as a patient. His bedside manner has little to be desired.
If I were to get the epidural he said that I'd be in a MRI type machine that will find the exact spot where the injection would be..scared me and I'm not usually scared by procedures that I've had done.
I have bad arthritis in my low back..what with scoliosis and stenosis above the arthritis I just can't picture a small needle so I guess thats where the doctor was telling me that I'd be in some serious pain.
If the pain gets worse I might have to take a deep breath and grit my teeth and have it done.
Well, that PM doc was not very helpful. The injections are done under fluoroscopy, or they certainly should be. Don't go to anyone who does not use fluoroscopy. It is a big C-armed machine that is placed over you while you are lying on a table...It is NOT like a MRI machine.
If you aren't squeamish, there is an interesting video that you can watch online...actually, there are probably many online!!
Often the injections are a first step if the insurance carrier is going to cover the cost of further treatment...because it does have a high rate of success and saves some from needing to have surgery.
Some doctors will give you a twilight anesthetic before the procedure. I went to three different places during the last 8 years. The first two doctors offered the ESIs with twilight anesthetic. The thing with that is that you have to take a driver with you and it ends up taking a number of hours. If you don't have the anesthetic, you can drive yourself and you only have to wait about a half hour after before you can leave. My third doctor would not give twilight anesthetic. He wanted the patient fully responsive when he did the ESI or nerve block or whatever....I was scared the first times, but gradually got used to it and realized it was easier without the twilight anesthetic...the injection itself only takes a short while.
Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Re: Has anyone had an Epidural for back pain?
I have had three lumbar epidurals and one cervical. The three lumbar epidurals provided relief for one-two days. The cervical epidural was nine months ago, and my situation is not entirely resolved, but I have received 75 percent relief. (I still use my traction device when I feel my neck pain coming on. Prior to the epidural, I was in extreme pain and had lost strength in my dominant hand. I was dropping things constantly -- lightweight objects, like a salt shaker, shampoo bottle.) I had spinal AND foraminal stenosis in the lumbar, but only foraminal in the cervical.
I was given propofol for the epidurals because I get easily nauseated. Afterward, my face was very flushed, and I had a headache for the rest of the day. Both of these are common side effects, but not troublesome, as I just slept most of the day. I also put ice on the area to prevent swelling. I have had other injections into my hip joint, for which I was completely unmedicated. I had them done with and without lidocaine. As long as the surgeon injects some lidocaine into the skin surface, it is uncomfortable, but not painful. The needles are very thin.
Honestly, the biggest hassle of the epidurals was taking a whole day off work. I had them done on Fridays, and I was back at work by the following Monday, with no restrictions, and back in the pool by the following Tuesday to swim a mile.
Sounds like he may be talking about facet injections. My doc told me they are worse than the usual epidurals and they are generally only done if they are totally necessary. Regular epidurals aren't that bad.
The Following User Says Thank You to Bradleyh100 For This Useful Post: BelleoftheSouth (02-29-2012)
Well, I don't mean to sound negative but you asked for responses.
I did have an ESI/Nerve Block done more for leg pain than back pain but I had both and I must say that I found it to be most excuricating!! I did have versed. They told me that I received the same amount of drugs that I would have gotten if I was getting a colonoscopy! Well those drugs didn't do squat!! I felt everything! I remember everything!! It hurt like HECK! and didn't offer *ME* any relief. Sorry, don't mean to sound so negative. But I would ask questions. Make sure you really feel comfortable with the decision to have it. I did not. I felt bullied into having one. Mine caused me tremendous increased pain for 2-3 weeks and caused me to have symptoms in my other leg. I really felt bullied, like they wouldn't do anything else treatment wise until I tried one. Then they even wanted me to try a second one. Well I spent a couple of months sick with a sinus infection that I just couldn't lick. Thank Goodness! So since I was sick I couldn't ever have it done. Recently, I have seen two Ortho Spine Specialists that have said absolutely not! They are concerned that the first one may have caused some damage already.
The Dr's around here that do them will not allow you to drive whether or not you have any anethesia. They won't knock you out. the best you can get here is the versed or something supposedly to relax you, not even twilight. Where I went whether or not you were getting anything, you had to be there an hour before your scheduled procedure time and they said to plan on thirty minutes for the procedure and twenty minutes after if you didn't have any meds. but I did so I was there longer. I guess you should discuss all those details with the center where you will have your ESI done should you choose to. But ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable before you agree. I wish I had!!!
Last edited by hausofmouse; 02-29-2012 at 09:12 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to hausofmouse For This Useful Post: BelleoftheSouth (03-02-2012)
[QUOTE=Bradleyh100;4935505]Sounds like he may be talking about facet injections. My doc told me they are worse than the usual epidurals and they are generally only done if they are totally necessary. Regular epidurals aren't that bad.[/QUOTE]
I seem to recall Facet injections are NOT epidurals... I believe my doc told me, when I had them, they were to find out the origin of your pain. But, it has been such a long time since I had my facet blocks, that I don't remember exactly.
As far as having a epidural, I have had good luck with them, until this past monday... Find out what type of Epidural you are having. I usually get Translaminal ESIs, (I think that's the type I had), but this last time I had a transforaminal ESI, and now have a new set of problems... (but, my back pain is gone)
The Following User Says Thank You to breezyjr For This Useful Post: BelleoftheSouth (03-02-2012)
[QUOTE=BelleoftheSouth;4934779]My doctor is recommending an epidural for me and I said 'no thanks'..
Anyone had this done and does it work? How long did it keep you painfree?
I have had perhaps 20 epidurals over the last 10 years. Yes, they did help, giving me between 4 and 8 months of pain free or almost pain free results. If you have sedation for the injection it's not a difficult procedure at all. Without sedation is is somewhat painful, but worth it for me.
The Following User Says Thank You to Grammie76 For This Useful Post: BelleoftheSouth (03-02-2012)