I have many injections and a several epidural injections. Where are you having the injection (what level)?
Basically, your doc will inject a steroid into the epidural space. This is like a very strong anti-inflammatory. It can sometimes take up to 10 days to start working. Sometimes they don't work at all, and others report great relief. Either way, it is usually temporary relief as the steroid will eventually where off
Usually the procedure will involve you going to a surgery type center. Many docs will start and IV and give you a mix of Versed and Fentanyl. One relaxes the body and the other is a pain killer. The procedure takes 10 minutes or so. You may feel a little sore the next day. Other than that, its a pretty common procedure.
Hi, I have had quite a few epidurals myself, only the 3 centers that have done them provided no IV or pre-administered medication beforehand. Just make sure that you tell them to numb you with everything they have. It's an uncomfortable procedure but does not take long to do, and hopefully will provide you with some relief. Have they scheduled you for a series of them (which is usually 3), usually spread out to two weeks apart. Sometimes it takes the whole series to really see if it helps, but is more evident after the second.
I hope they help you are feeling better. Take care. Tammy
I had 3 recently in my neck all with medication through an IV. the first one was OK, the second one gave me no relief and I went ahead with the 3rd because I already had it sheduled and was really hopeful to finally get some relief. I did! I know everyone doesnt but I had a good experience with them, my PM is good at it and I have about 40% relief and thats Ok with me. I know it will wear off but while it last I will enjoy it! Good luck and I hope they help you!
Hi Hoyt, Although everyones discs degenerate over time, your discs are degenerating at a faster rate than they would predict for someone your age. It's pretty safe to assume the location of the epidurals represent your greatest pain. They can be done anywhere in your spine from your neck down to your sacrum. People normally experience an initial increase of pain from the pressure created from the injecting additional material into the epidural space, but over the first few days it should migrate and spread and the idea is to reduce inflamation which hopefully decreases pain,increases range of motion. I think people are most disapointed when they expect a cure or complete lasting pain releief and that's smply not possible in every case. There are things you can do such as strengthenng, stretcvhing adjusting posture, etc. Hopefully you have been through some PT and learned some of the basic bad back excercise and stretching plans whiich will turn out to be crucial as time progresses and your condition progress.
Aside from individual experiences which widely varry, the injections are done for a purpose which this portion of an article explains the role of injections done by physiatrists and other specialties that practice PM since this type of injection does have some risks which limit the number that can be given yearly. I totallyagree with the statements made by the doctor about taking advantage of the relief you do get and as others have pointeds out, being greatful for 20% relief or 40% when you have a condition that can't be fixed, will likely get worse and excepting youhav to live with som e amount of pain even when the strongest meds are being used to trreat the pain. How fast DDD progress has more to do with the changes you make in your lifestyle than any procedure or med they can pescribe for DDD.
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Good luck, Dave
Last edited by HBMod07; 06-02-2006 at 02:55 PM.
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Hi my name is Shelly,
I just came from a Pain Center and will have to have the 3 Injections done.
Starting June 15th. My pain is in the lower part of my back.
The doctor said I should get much releaf after the 3 parts.
They are gonna sedate me before hand.
My question to who can answer is how often does this have to be done?
Be greatful they are sedating you! Some doctor's do not and the proceedure can be painful for some individuals. Typically you should not have more than 3 steriodal injections in a 12 month span. Repeated injections can cause scar tissue and or early degeneration of bone and cartilage. The success rate is probably about 50%, not everyone responds to them. If you aren't feeling any improvement by the second one chances are the 3rd one isn't going to make any difference.