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3 lumbar herniations, awaiting epidural injections

mattaramammattarama Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Spinal Injections
Hello! I'm new to the forum, (and disc herniations) and relieved to have found a place where so many people know what this is like! I'm glad to have found the site.

The short of it is, I herniated L4,L5, and S1. Physical threapy worsened the pain. Sleep has been difficult, and I do have an array of medications the doctor has prescribed that I can select from to help with the pain and sciatica. I try to use them when needed, only.

My question is, as I understand the injections to be aimed at bringing relief, what do they do, exactly? Are they to simply turn-off nerve endings in and around the spine, or do they have the ability to shrink-back the herniated disc material? Or if there is shrinking going on, is it more that the nerve endings are shrinking, as the herniated disc material takes it's time being reabsorbed by the body?

Also, would 6 to 8 months be an appropriate time-line to keep away from activities such as jogging, cycling, hiking, etc? I understand that scar tissue can and eventually will form to seal up the herniations, and that this takes its fair share of time and care.

Finally, what can I expect in terms of pain and down-time after the shots have taken place?

Thanks so much for any guidance and advice.


  • In addition to the forum, the website also has informative articles written by medical professionals that will help you find accurate answers to your questions. You might want to read the information pertaining to ESIs:


    Injections are given in an attempt to bring down inflammation. Often the hope is that inflammation will go down enough that the patient will be able to pursue a program of physical therapy to strengthen the back. They will not cause the discs to heal.

    Most people take it easy for the first 24-48 hours. It is best if you can lay low and not move around too much, as this gives the medicine the best opportunity to work. When you're on your feet moving around, it causes the medicine to dissipate more quickly.

    I've had all kinds of injections, nerve blocks and facet blocks. For the most part, I have been a little sore afterwards, but not too bad. Ice helps....The first injection I ever had was the worst. I felt quite uncomfortable for about two days, as I recall. You can read through some of the older threads to see other people's experiences with ESIs.

    You should talk with your doctor about which activities are appropriate. My husband ruptured L5-S1 many years ago...and it took about a year until he felt fully recovered, and took up most of his old activities, including running. He started feeling better around the six month mark and started walking for exercise...and probably started very slowly back into running around 9 months.

    I don't know if it makes a difference in the time it takes to heal if you have more than one disc that is herniated. You'll need to learn to listen to your body and be prepared for things to heal slowly.

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