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questions on epidural shots

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Old 10-20-2004, 07:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3
vinnie2295 HB User
questions on epidural shots

Hi everybody,

I have some questions that maybe some of you may be able to help me with. I was working full time plus lots of overtime when my problems started. I was used to being on my feet all day and lifting heavy objects. All of a suddeny I started having pain in my back. At first it was after I was at work for about 6 hours, this was sometime around February. By June, I could only work about 3 hours before I was in so much pain that I could barely move. By July I was working only 15 hours a week. After an mri, the doctors determined that I had 2 bulging discs and one herniated disc at l5-s1. My doctor referred me to a neuro-surgeon. After talking with me for maybe all of 10 minutes, he refered me to a pain specialist. In the meantime I had started pt, 3 days a week. The pain specialsit started the series of epidural shots. The first one seemed to work for the first week or so and then nothing. The pain was back. After the first set of shots I got bronchitis and ended up on anti-biotics. So after a month they scheduled me for another set of shots. During this set of shots, I ended up with pain so bad in my leg that it brought me to many tears. The pain is now as bad as when I started the shots. And I have come down with another illness, sore throat, ear infection, cough. My questions are : Has anyone ever heard of someone getting sick like this after shots? Does anyone know if weight bearing is making this worse, because that is when I have most of the pain? And has anyone ever had the pain in the leg like I did during the shots? I would appreciate any experiences that can help me understand this. The pain is more in my hip (right side only). A year ago I cracked my pelvic bone and then re-cracked it again 6 months later. I still wonder if this has anything to do with it. Thank you for any help I can get. Sandy

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Old 10-20-2004, 10:16 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York
Posts: 413
mlachowicz HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots

I have never heard of anyone getting sick after the epi shot. I had a shot in my lower back (L4-5, L5-S1) & I experienced terrible pain and burning down my leg when the shot was being administered. The shot did not improve my symptoms.

Old 10-20-2004, 11:14 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 463
TexasWildRose04 HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots

I am on my second injection of my series of three... I had excruciating pain in my lower back hips and legs after the injections... then I had relief for like 2 days and the pain came back... this time after the second one.. the pain is worse then it has ever been....I have never heard of anyone getting sick like that afterwards... but I honestly think my contributed to my blood pressure increasing afterwards........... just went today for a Myelogram and CT.... and a Cervical MRI....but still having the leg pain....Take Care.....

Old 10-20-2004, 07:44 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 51
Ribarb47 HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots

The epidurals can cause your BP to go up and can also increase your glucose to be elevated. The med used is basically prednisone & cortisone. I looked up prednisone & cortisone, and it states that they can make you more susceptible to illness.

How many epidurals have you had within a 12 month time? Most Dr's don't like to give more than 3 injections, but will give an extra on occasion.

I have a ruptured L5/S1. I had a discectomy in 1999 but have since reruptured it. I have nerve damage. When I get a "flare" I can't stand, without holding on, no less walk or do anything else.

I wish you the best Sandy.

Old 10-21-2004, 06:12 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,128
carol632 HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots

Steroids lower your resistance to infection. That might explain it.

2 lami's, 3 fusions
bone spur removal
cerv. fusion, 1 level
morphine pump

Old 10-21-2004, 06:30 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 463
TexasWildRose04 HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots


How many epidurals have you had within a 12 month time? Most Dr's don't like to give more than 3 injections, but will give an extra on occasion.

I wish you the best Sandy.[/QUOTE]

I have had 2 epidurals of my series of 3.... I go for my third next week... they did them in 2 week intervals....and my PM said this is the last one.... because like you said... he wont give more then three in a 12 month period....

I had wondered about the blood pressure increase....because mine had never been elevated until after these injections....When the girl took mine and it was 130/82....and I told her mine has never been over 117/76....give or take... a digit or two either way..... she acted like I had no idea what I was talking any rate......

Thanks alot for your response... that has helped alot..... Take Care.....


Old 10-22-2004, 06:46 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: florida
Posts: 151
lynns HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots

i have had the epidural in my cervical and it did not help and did not get another one.
but every one is different.

Old 10-22-2004, 09:08 AM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 361
kaybee HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots

My husband had two epidurals for his herniated disc at L4-5 and no relief. He did have a severe reaction to the first steroid (canalog) so he recieved a different kind the next time. Surgery ended up being his only option because the disc had calcified and broken pieces were floating up and clinging to the cord. Now he needs a cervical fusion but is in so much lower back pain that they are trying to stabilize it with facet injections (one treatment was five injections) and PT. So far, neither treatments are working. He's in worse pain now.

I sure hope you get some relief soon. As far as the surgery goes, he had immediate relief from the radiculopathy and it wasn't a bad experience for him at all. Best wishes!


Old 10-22-2004, 10:05 AM   #9
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 45
aackles HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots

I was due to get an epidural shot on Nov 1st and after reading what everyone has posted I will not be doing that. When the doctor told me about it I didn't know what the heck he was talking about I just wanted the pain to stop in my foot. I immediately came to the boards to check it out and here Vinnie2295 had already posted the question. I realize everyone is different but I have not read one person that had a good outcome. thanks for making my decision easier. Angela

Old 10-22-2004, 01:26 PM   #10
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34
PaulaZ HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots

Steroids do lower your resistance. I would think you'd have to be on them for awhile to lower your immunity, but maybe you're just sensitive. I've been on prednisone for a long time for another illness, so I have to be careful about germs and such.

As far as the shots, I had the same experience, partial relief for about 2 weeks and then they repeated the injection. OMG, it was the worst pain I ever felt. I couldn't walk for days after and it really never improved much. I ended up in surgery a month later, still barely able to walk. I will NEVER have one again. I already had the leg pain, but it just increased it tenfold.

I have heard of some success stories. My GP swears one shot cured his disc problem and foot drop. But I think that is rare.

Good luck and I hope everyone has a pain free day tomorrow.

Old 10-22-2004, 10:00 PM   #11
injured betty
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,137
injured betty HB User
Re: questions on epidural shots

The steroid shot is a mandatory choice made by insurance. You don't have to accept it, but they have to try to get you to do it. I fell for it on the shoulder and then once with the back. I was in so much pain that I just wanted relief. This is what they count on.

I don't believe anything that the doctors tell me that they had done themselves if they are trying to sell me something. And, these days, that is what they are, basically salespeople, front people, for the pharmacuetical companies who send in their army of sales people to convince doctors to get the patients to use the meds of the day.

If you follow the current trends, threads of the boards, these or others, you will find a common thread. It is hard to explain here.

There is this huge, bulging mass of baby boomers and baby boomer parents who are getting to the age where they feel pain. It is overwhelming the health care industry. There are all these people shouting ***pain*** at the doctors and their hands are tied as to what they can do. They have to do what the insurance companies require them to do, and in order. In turn, the patients seek relief. In steps the pharmacuetical companies with meds. Right now, this minute, pain, namely back pain, is the one thing taking down the health industry. And, no one has the answers.

There are no jobs, thus nothing for people to do, too much TV, computers, time on our hands, and no where to spend it. No money. Those with jobs are being overworked. Those without slip into bad physical shape without even knowing it because time is a different concept to them without work.

All of this leads to back injuries for the ones working and the ones not working.

They offer the steroids because they don't know what else to do. They have to follow protocol. I had a PT tell me a month ago, we can't do PT without a prescription. I told them that it costs $25 co-pay to get one. They said that their hands were tied. I called the doctor, she insisted that I come in, pay the co-pay and she would write out a prescription, like anyone would just walk in off the streets and want PT. It is not drugs. So, I called my insurance company and they said, "No, do not pay the doctor, find another PT and we will pay for 50 PT treatments a year." It took me a month to unwind this mess. This is after my SI injection did not work.

ESI's only work as a diagnostic tool. The doctors should be straight up with the patients and tell them that. Instead, they hold out false hope. I guess, for some, it is a panecia.

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