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epidural spinal shots

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Lower Back Pain
can someone tell me how painful the epidural spinal shots are. i have to start them on tuesday and i am very nervious.



  • Depending on where you have them done, you will be given a choice of having a twilight sedation, in which case you don't feel or remember a thing, or having a numbing agent first, and then the shot. I have had them (and various other similar procedures) done at three different places, with three different doctors and my impression is that the staff is careful and attentive to your needs. I think they sound more scary than they really are.

    If you have the injection without sedation, there will be a point where you will feel the medicine going into your back, and perhaps, down your leg. There will be a feeling of pressure and it may hurt for a few seconds, but then it will be over. It feels more strange than actually painful....at least in my opinion!

    I've been having sedation lately, but yesterday I had facet injections at a new location. I was initially alarmed when they told me they did not sedate, but I was surprised at how easy the process was and really not painful.

    As with back surgery, the fear of the unknown is really worse than the actual procedure.
  • If you look down the page to the section "Treatments" you will see there is a whole category devoted to spinal injections. You can read all about it there!!
  • Kingan, thanks for the question - I'm having both an ESI and facet joint injections on Aug. 6 and I'm also beginning to get a bit nervous.

    Gwennie, thank you for your comments. I was told that I'll be sedated and will need someone to come with me to drive me home, so I'm assuming it'll be the twilight sedation.

    I very much understand your last sentence about the fear of the unknown is worse than the actual procedure because I felt that way about my cervical surgery. I'm going to try to keep that in mind from now until the procedure.

    Thanks again.
  • If you're sedated, it is a piece of cake! Unless you have someone who can't get the IV line in, or whatever it is they are using. It will be very simple after having had surgery. The worst part for me was not being able to drink anything after midnight.

    Do they know for sure the facet joints are causing your pain?
  • Yes, the surgeon's PA seemed quite sure that my facet joints are inflamed and swollen causing my lower back pain, and they are pressing on my L4/5 disk causing a diffuse bulge that's pressing on some nerves causing my sciatica.

    I believe this procedure is to reduce the pain, not to see if these facet joints are the problem.

  • About 3 months ago I started having severe pain in my lower back and down my right leg. I had an MRI done and it came back with some arthritis and a bulging disk. I am 28 years old, and have had injections done in my middle back, which worked great, and 2 weeks ago had some done in my lower back which worked for about a week. My doctor suggested that I have a rhizotomy done in my L4-5 and S1. She wants to do both sides of my back at the same time due to insurance issues. How much pain can I expect to be in afterwards? I do not take narcotic pain killers, so I'll be taking regular tylenol. She told me that it helps most people that injections do not help for. I have done some research on the internet and some places say its a 50/50 shot, while others say higher. What have been your experiences and has it lasted a long time? Also, she wants me to do physical therapy afterwards. Did this work for any of you? Is anyone worse off after having it done than before? Thanks so much for your help!!
  • I totally understand your concerns..but trust me the results are worth it.I'm only 29 years old and have gone though numberous epidural injections.Some wt sedation an some wt out.When your aleady in severe pain the injection doesn't compare..I have had some work awesome an last several months others not so much..Really it depends on the Dr who does..The most recent one I had was while in the hospital wt my legs paralyzed..It took a few days but it helped. I began to feel my legs again..WOW what a great feeling that was.So you see I think it's worth a little stick..It's not so bad.. Hope you have great results..Oh by the way take the sedation it'll help to clam your nerves..GOOD LUCK!!
  • Do you know the location of your herniated disc?

    May I ask what type (specialty) doctor you are seeing?

    It is my understanding that the doctor needs to be able to say that the ESIs provide no relief before insurance will cover a rhizotomy. Apparently that is not the case as far as your doctor is concerned.

    Also I would be concerned that she doesn't really know which level is causing the pain so she is going to burn all three levels. That seems like a bit of overkill if you only have one level that is the pain generator.

    You might want to run a search for this forum, typing in rhizotomy, to see what you can find. I recall a number of people that have had it done, but can't remember how long ago it was.

    Hopefully they will see your post and will respond!
  • I had one injection and it is worth it if you are in pain. The weird thing about the shot I had was that he put so much medicine in my back it felt like he was filling me up with expanding foam. The pressure was intense! But after it was over and the next day I was not in pain. I would do it all over again no problem. GET THE SHOT!
  • I just wanted to mention the obvious: not everyone has a positive reaction to these injections. And often, the first one will have little effect, but the second or third might. As usual...we all are different and our bodies react differently, too.

    They do work for many people. That is why insurance companies often require them prior to authorizing anything more invasive.
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