Discussions that mention lyrica

Back Problems board

I have had a Sacroiliac Joint Injection and two epidurals for the pain in my lower back (MRI showed a bulging disc at L4 & L5). I did not think the shots had worked until my nerve pain came back last week (.. I continued to have back pain, just not the "nerve" pain..) I guess the nerve pain I generally have was so maddening I had overlooked the "base" pain underneath it all.

I went to the doctor yesterday and he has me scheduled for a Lumbar Medial Branch Block. I'm not sure I understand what this is and how it is different from the shots I've already had. He did state that I will have two of these shots as a diagnostic (if they help, I'll be scheduled for a Radiofrequency Neurotomy) and I need to be in pain for the shot next Thursday in order to determine if they help.

He also prescribed Lyrica which I have read is for nerve pain. So, when they say I need to be in pain for this shot, do they mean the underlying back pain without the nerve pain (otherwise, why would he put me on this medication now?) Which brings me to another issue, I'm very reluctant to take this drug given all of the possible side effects and I'd almost rather have nerve pain than lose my mental capacity and gain a bunch of weight.

I hope there is someone out there that can relate to my situation and provide some much-needed insight... I'm pretty frustrated with myself, I can't ever seem to think of these questions when I'm with the doctor. If I do, I tend to forget what he says by the time I get home. Ha! A drug that interferes with my concentration and mental alertness is the last thing I think I need.

Can anyone assist me in understanding? Thanks!!
I cannot speak upon the issue of the "block" since I've never heard of it..after ten years I thought I heard it all, he says sarcastically. I have had many shots, blocks, etc....just not the one you mention. But the Lyrica, oi, that stuff was/is terrible...plus it barely help alleviate the electrically pain. Now I heard others say it's great (but so far that came from diabetics...not those with the nerve back caused by disk and back and neck....then again, its all the nervous system. It made me feel really strange...out there....finally had to get off of it due to other health issue...I spoke to pharmacist about the side effects--his reply, they should clear up. Now that I don't take it, still have about the same electrically pain...which is horrible. I always forget to say something important to the doctor(s)...big problem...one time brought in five pages of notes...that went nowhere...time was clicking by and they only have so much time for ya. I always find myself leaving and then remembering that I forgot to report this or that....not good actually....especially when dealing with insurance company making all the decisions based on what and what isn't reported....not to scare ya...it happens...I freeze infront of docs now...I need them, yet want off the grid at same time. I use to write letters to them...only made matters worse...they don't have the time or desire...plus, like my dad says: "Never put anything in writing." Too funny. Because I just did here. Jot down quick notes before ya go in. Tape record if needed. Aloha
My injured area was also L4-5, and after having a micro-diskectomy, I still had low back pain and nerve pain. We tried the series of epidurals, and they didn't help. So, my pain mgmt dr said let's do a medial branch nerve block. The only relief from pain was when they injected the local anesthetic, and that quickly wore off. So, I didn't get much relief from the block (although I know other people who have).

I was on Neurontin for almost 18 months, and frankly don't remember much of what happened during that time. To say that it leaves you with brain fog is an understatement. Still having the nerve pain, my dr put me on Lyrica, and I actually had more side effects and less pain relief on the Lyrica. I agree with the others - if you can stand the pain or if you have other means to combat it (my TENS unit is a lifesaver), then don't take the systemic drugs.

Hang in there and let us know how you're doing.

Thank you for your responses!

re: those who have taken Lyrica, are you able to drive on it? (I am to take 75mg at bedtime for a week, then 150mg at bedtime). would some bad side effects wear off by daytime?

Kera, I am pleased to hear someone else has had the medial branch blocks/radiofrequency and that they helped... I am thinking he wants me to be relieved of the nerve pain when I have these shots to see if the other pain goes away...?
I was not able to drive on the Lyrica - it wasn't that it made me sleepy - I just felt less sharp and sluggish - like my reactions wouldn't be as fast as they needed to be if something happened. Still, every has different reactions to meds, so maybe you'll be able to drive on it.