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pain after injections

terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Spinal Injections
i will apologize because i have always said i have never experienced pain after a cortisone injection. i always said they don't work or you get better. well woh and behold, i had an injection about 3 weeks ago and ever since i have experienced pain that i have never had before. not only stronger but a stabbing burning pain across middle back. my pain has always been an achy pain and down my rt leg to the knee with foot numbness. since my injection, it is a hot poker that is stabbing all across the middle. it is really hard to walk at work now but i manage to keep working. i talked to dr and he said injections are for diagnostic reasons sometimes. he wants to do another one in a different area. above the one before. the last time he jiggled the needle around my facets and i think this loosened up scar tissue or released something. i trust this guy and he has not steered me wrong so i will see if another one will help. so beware you can get worse pain with an injection. what is weird is that i felt nothing at all and i forgot they use lidocaine with cortisone. i felt nothing but when it wore off watch out. also lidocaine and cortisone kept me up all night.
I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.


  • Welcome to the club, Jon. Sorry to hear you've finally experienced that post-injection pain. Having went through that last week, people suggested ice and ibuprofen, and it did help with me. I never would have thought of ice, as usually it makes it worse for me, but it did help in my back. Hope it passes quickly for you!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • been there my friend have you got a decent TENS?? when that's happened to em i have cranked up the pain killers and hit the ice and TENS .that's about all i got jon.hope it soon goes away
  • Injections are different for everyone,and each time they can be different even for me.I wouldn't say they either work or make you worse.Those are extremes I think and can happen,but could also be a number of variables.
    Ice always causes muscle spasms in me,but after injections the homeade ice packs are like a gift and along with my muscle relaxer,pain medication,and just taking it easy the day of the injection it really helps.I don't always get relief from injections and I'm not a pro-injection person,but when TSHTF and pain is out of control,they can sometimes help.

    Did you get an ESI in your lumbar spine? I've never had one in my lumbar,and imagine that would be different somehow.I've had many different types of injections and in my C-spine,shoulders,head,and hips,but never the T or L-spine.Not sure and don't want to ever personally experience it,but I just think that seems like it would be more painful.With my C-spine I sometimes have issues with my neck and arm/hands,but I don't have those same issues in my legs and can't imagine my legs hurting like my upper body.I hope you feel better soon.
  • I am sorry you are experiencing this new pain :(

    When will you get your next injection? Is the thought the next one will "counteract" this one, as of the location of the next one ?
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I have actually never had cortizone my doctor uses other stuff. Last time I had Kenelog and the 2 times before that I had Dexamethazone. These have been on my T-Spine this Summer & Fall. I am having yet another one in 2 more weeks. We discovered the Kenelog is bad for me. I wont be using that anymore. The side effects have been worse than ever.

    Jon when had my Lumbar Selective Nerve Root Injections a few years back- the last of the 3 sets was awful. I never recovered till after my fusion. I swear the doctor went into the nerve and lit it up like a wild fire (I never saw that docotor again).

    Sorry your hurting. I don't think there is anything worse than nerve pain like that. It's like some one has a red hot poker in your spine and wont stop screwing with you.

  • Let this be a lesson mister - never say never... I do recall you saying that and I thought, ya well one of these days bud that's gonna bite ya in the butt. It sounds like it has. I am not being mean, I guess I'm getting a silent chuckle, which I do not mean as rude! It does suck doesn't it - hurts like hell. It always hurts when I get them and I just dread it every three months. Maybe you'll be lucky and this will be a first and last for you and next time it won't bother you as it has not in the past. Not saying this is you - but I have noticed whenever I get too big for my britches, I get a reminder that I too could be walkin' in those shoes. Hope you feel better soon. I have found that a boiling hot bath, so hot it makes your skin red, does help! Maybe try that and see if it does any good. I also always wear big thick hunting socks, even in the summer in the evenings because although my feet are numb, they always feel so cold. Take care, hope you will pardon my humor...
  • one needs humor. i appreciate humor even the biting kind. i still have never had problems with injections for 10 years until last month. i just take my meds for the pain. i don't use any exotic cures or methods at all. it hurts, but i still work, shop, go to church, etc my pain has never been so bad that i could not function at all.pain is pain. it is there and has never been a big deal to me. the only bad pain i ever had which totally put me on my rear was a kidney stone. have had numerous ones. one was so bad that the hydrostatic pressure from urine backing up made my kidneys burst, not totally, but along the seam of the kidney. that HURT. stone pain is so bad that you vomit from pain. had to get out of the car throw up get back in get out throw up back in on and on until the hospital. couldn't do the bath because of my kidneys burst. had to go in with scope and pull them, a lot at least 5-6. the next day back at home still had stones passing even with them using scope. worse than any back pain i had.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • The second time I had injections I had increased pain for about 5 days in the area. The doctor did not seem surprised about that. But I also had a strange thing where an area above and to the left of the injection felt cold and sorta numb. That still appears off and on now even years later but it's the least of my worries.
  • I had my first set of "nerve block" injections a week ago. I put that in quotes because that's all he would say about it. Should have been warning number one; anyhow, he also wiggled the needles after injecting and since the injections I've had terrible, horrible, pain at the L injection site. It's a pain I had never experienced before and I have been living on opioids (which sucks for me, because I get side effects from them). I don't know what to do or what could have happened with that left injection, but my doc is on vacation of course and I'm left feeling like a total idiot for agreeing to something I wasn't 100% sure about. Now I'm in more pain than ever which I didn't even think was possible.

    Good luck to you all and if anybody has any helpful info for me, I'd apprecitate it. Looks like ice is my best bet from what you guys have said, so I will continue to use that.
  • Everytime I've had a procedure done on my back the pain that has followed afterwards has been worse. I've had 4 FJIs, 2 epidurals, and RF. I think the one that shocked me the most and hurt the worse was following the RF. I had about 4 days of hell followed by 8 days of bliss followed by fast returning of symptoms that became the worst pain I'd ever before felt in my back. It's been that way ever since, which was in May. Is it possible for the PM to actually make things worse by injecting the wrong area or something like that? I'm just wondering because you mentioned the jiggling around after he injected you and my PM does that everytime...lots of jiggling...I'm wondering if he's screwing me up worse than I already was.
  • HI,
    Had to comment on the post injection pain....The injection leaves the medicine to absorb into the tissues, and yes, it's pain for at least 3-4 days post injection. Also, you should not move around alot or the medicine "moves"... I had to be put to sleep for my injections, hurt like hell for a few days (they told me to start my pain meds as soon as I got home)
    then a few days of relief, then back to the same old same old... Didn't do much for me.. But one time, after the injection, I had a household emergency that made me move too much....I hallucinated for days as the meds got into my blood stream... I now know why some athletes on steroids go nuts!!
    Good luck with future injections...hope they work for you..!
  • I read some info in my texts that seems to make sense. According to the med-surg text, the medication itself will put pressure on the nerves surrounding the injection area which is why "most" people have more pain for a few days, then feel better. The medication will absorb and the pressure will be relieved.

    In my case, I'm sure this is what happened. If the needle of the syringe goes through a blood vessel, and the vessel leaks a significant amount of blood, now you have the medication as well as a pool of blood putting preassure on your nerves. It's basically a hematoma deep within you (wherever the injection was done) which takes a pretty long while to absorb. Which I'm sure is why I was in pain for a little over a month near the injection site.

    There is no way for the PM to know unfortunately exactly where you have a major vessel, so it happens. Not often, but it does. You basically have to wait it out until your hematoma (pool of blood) gets reabsorbed into your body in an appropriate place ie not directly on your nerves.

    Good luck to you all, hope this helps!
  • I have always had problems with injections. I consider them to be voodoo science and a sham. There are a few reasons some of which was my own ignorance, my doctors setting expectations they could not meet and results obtained as well as discomfort experienced during the process. I have had roughly 10 injections of which only two provided any relief at all and it was brief. The numbing medication they use does nothing for me. It's as though they gave me nothing. I have determined without them telling me what they use for numbing that it is only novocaine, which has never worked for me. You'd think they would disclose what they use. Comments such as "thats an impressive amount of numbing medication" from the doctor only cemented the fact he was an idiot. Why? Because he wasn't getting that it didn't work. And he didn't care. He cared about getting paid for finishing the procedure and that was all. How do I know? Because they were $1000 ea and I got them twice a month. And that was out of my pocket (yes I have insurance).

    Since I have had the injections, I have new pains I had not had prior that are unique. I stopped taking all narcotic pain killers cold turkey several months ago. I had it with those as well. I took them for many years (oxycontin, vicoden, oxycodone, percs, whatever...I have done it all except morphine...that was next). These drugs will make your pain worse at some stage. It's only a question of when and the truth is you won't know when it is. My advice to people is to not take pain killers unless you are in the hospital, have just been sent home from the hospital after a surgical procedure, or know your going to wind up going in. It's not worth it. The real truth is these doctors don't know how to fix what is wrong with you. They are just taking your money and thats a fact.
  • esi_no_workieeesi_no_workie Posts: 9
    edited 04/22/2013 - 5:08 AM
    btw I forgot to mention: one thing that does help that is non narcotic is lidocaine. It's a transdermal patch that I just have my wife stick to my lower back on each side. This does numb my skin. And the pain I feel from injections (even four months later) is just as others have described: a stabbing pain in the area impacted. I had a massive headache after some of my injection sessions. This reminded me of when I had my back surgery and I had massive pain in my head then. The nurse kept yelling at me "Quit holding your head!" but I wouldn't. The pain was horrible. This I have determined is from doctors messing around near your spine. It's a known thing if you research it that is somewhat common. I think this injection pain is not as common, but is out there and is not disclosed. I will NEVER have ANY spinal injection EVER. Matter of fact, I'll cold cock the doctor and knock him out cold who suggests it. I'm a little bitter about these as you can tell. What really got me there was my last pain management clinic. I told them I had already had injections at another pain management clinic. What makes these any different? He did his BS dance and I gave him the benefit of the doubt despite my better judgement. I was correct.
    Have you ever stopped and wondered why you put up with so much crap from doctors? Waiting for an hour. Paying them ungodly fees. Going through horrible pain. Being at their mercy for drugs that enslave you, only work for brief periods and that the vast majority of them don't have the training to prescribe... isn't that half baked care at best? I hate doctors. I honestly do now after having dealt with this pain since the 90s.
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