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symptoms worse after epidural

marygracemmarygrace Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Spinal Injections
I had 2 car accidents within 3 months and have been in some type of pain management / therapy for 10 months. My symptoms are persistent and fluctuating. I had all over muscle pain that has been finally treated with Lyrica but after the second accident I started having pain( electric shocks/burning ) in my left shin.An MRI showed L5/S1 central disk bulge. The pain progressed and my pain management Dr recommended an epidural. I did it and not even 2 hours later I had pain in both legs....huh??? Yeah, he didn't know either.

Symptoms progressed in both legs as well and then I had a 2nd epidural (bilateral) and couldnt sit for atleast 3 weeks without intense additional pain in both shins.

With this result I was referred to the spinal surgeon who did an exray and found spinal stenosis at the same level as the herniation.

Anyone experience anything like this? Why would it get worse?

The epidural should help for the stenosis and the bulging disk.


  • ESIs are not always successful, and *seems* to be the case with you. I'm sorry that you are having this pain.. but sometimes these treatments take time & patience. Have you tried any PT, TENs unit, heat&ice, etc.? There are a lot of different things to try, and whatever it takes..whatever works. Just keep trying different things until you find something (anything) that gives you some relief. Welcome to Spine-health and my best to you.
  • New here--never really been on a msg blog b4. I was disgnosed in Dec '10 with a bulging disc & possible lipoma in same area. Problem is, I have a history of spinal probs that began in the '90s -had bone spurs removed from my neck in '99, and 2 surgeries -one each shoulder since-steming (?) From all the neck probs/pain. I was in pain in lower back for several months b4 "casually" mentioning this to my dr-in which she quickly ordered an MRI and tada! Now, I'm 46-in relatively good shape aside from my spinal probs, but am solely against the idea of another surgery!!she is currently in process of referring me to a neuro-surgeon! Plus, I've heard so many "horror" stories from people who have had back/lower back surgeries-and how later in life it actually causes more pain than what was originally there! I've heard of injections that can make a difference-ive heard some last few days-others few years! What I'm wondering -(& I know its all a case-by-case basis) but has anyone out there had "positive" experiences from this? As mentioned earlier, stemming from my neck pain for years, I've been under a pain management drs care for my neck ailments, inckuding a narcotic pain reliever (anti-inflamatories tear my stomach up after yrs of this) and sleep aids-(which, as we all know can become habit forming and tend to cause deoendency-requiring more of the drug to work. I used to do great with Darvecet-until the FDA recently took it off the market!! I took it for 12 years-never upping my dose-never havng a problem with it causing me to need more (some days I would take less) in my 4-6 day regimen. Nasically I've tried just about everything for my neck-and am scared now b/c of my disc prob. Currently on a "at-least 5" hydrocodones a day (they don't make me sleepy-get me high-just relieve the pain-but the bad publicity they get from overusers ruins it for someone like me who can benefit from it) Any advice from inj users? Thanks :SS
  • Hello:
    I am sorry to hear about the pain you guys have suffered. I had my first ESI Cervical about three -four months ago. I though : Here is the Cure... It worked great I had no burning forearms, Good strength and almost zero pain. It lasted like a month. I told PM doc pain was returning, and he scheduled a second injection for the next week.

    When I lay down for the procedure, I was tense and nervous. I could tell something went wrong, I felt the pain in my neck and It about popped my eyes out.
    They paused midway in procedure and one doc said to other :" Move it closer to the railroads tracks. " It's when he moved the needle, The real pain came.

    I did not get any relief from this second ESI , and my guess ( cause that is all that I can ever do with these problems) Is probably caught a nerve with the needle. Since then I have had a lump on my spine ( back neck) and I have been having crazy burning in forearms.

    I just dont know. I would go again to have the relief of the first one, But I gotta say That second experience has me scared real well. It is not a pleasant experience when It went well, when it went wrong it was horrible.

    I hope that you find some relief.
  • I had my first one and had relief for 3 days and the pain slowly started coming back. The doctor told me that the shots work on each other so I was hoping for better results with the second one especially since my pain wasn't back to the level it was before the first one. As soon as the second shot was injected I was feeling the nerve in my forearm and as the night went on I was feeling the nerves in my arms. A few days later I was having shooting nerve pain down both arms and back and was having severe burning feeling in my left shoulder. Needless to say I didn't have the third shot and I am going through different test to see what might bring relief.
  • I'm sorry about your bad experience regarding epidurals. Myself, I have become worse after all the injections I've tried. For some reason my inflammed nerves overreact to injections. The trigger point injections I started out with were the least bad. I was still able to walk after them, but the pain did not subside at all. The facet injections they tried on me made me completely unable to walk for a week, after which I "learnt" to walk again step by step, first 10 ft at a time, later more. I was using crutches for 9 mos, for the first couple of months also inside the house. The pain was excruciating. Tried epidurals after twice after that, but nerves just got irritated (not to the point of the facet inj. though). I was still able to walk. The only thing that in the end eases my pain for some time is prednisone, 5 day dose packs. The only problem with it is that the doc only wants to prescribe it 3 times a year, so I always have to wait till I get to the point where I almost cant walk anymore. Shortly, I'm done taking any kind of injections for my back/legs.

  • I have had six injections. 2 esi and 4 facet joint. One pain management doctor. My first epidural worked and I was pretty excited as I thought additional injections would rid me of lower back pain. The first had got rid of pain in my legs. This however would only last about 4 months. The facet joint injections were utterly brutal in terms of pain at the time of injection and provided zero results. My last epidural actually has caused my sciatic pain to be far worse in the leg that was better prior. I would recommend if you get relief from a injection, quit while you are ahead. Don't get greedy and hope it will just keep getting better because it might not.

    My pain management doctor I think tried earnestly to rid me of my complaints. But I find they are sorely lacking in trying to make you comfortable. My doctor had never prescribed me anything. The nurses act as a a barrier in keeping any pain related scripts down to a minimum. I think frankly this is deliberate because the profits are greater this way and less headaches. I think at one time pain management doctors did try to keep patients comfortable but that was prior to pill heads abusing the system repeatedly and now the usefulness of pain management doctors is greatly reduced. I went off on my nurses and cancelled all my pending appointments in a fit of frustration. My wife works in a pharmacy so I know how all this works.

    Hate to say it folks but we are all regarded as seekers. If you have a good doctor, keep them and most of all, let them know that you appreciate them. Many just will not take the risks anymore. They don't want to have their DEA license yanked and have their careers destroyed due to no fault of their own. I don't blame them. But frankly we will suffer for it.

    I have given up on doctors. Least for now. I have had surgeries. Physical therapy. Chiropractors. I quit.
  • I have a bulging/herniated disc at L5/S1. I had my first esi 6 weeks ago... felt good for an hour til the lidocaine wore off then it hurt more than when I went in there. That was the straw that broke the camels back as far as me being able to work. I've been on disability this whole time. I had my second esi today and right now my lower back and right leg are throbbing. I was told if the second one didn't work then all that's left is surgery.
    I am ok sitting and sorta ok laying for a while but I can't stand or walk for more than 5 minutes without the throbbing down my leg. I am an xray tech and my job is pretty much all standing and walking. I don't want surgery.. until this last flare up I was very active in karate and hiking. I was just starting to loose weight and now this. I'm freaking out... don't want to have my other discs go out if this one is fused. I'm in the medical field but I feel way out of my comfort zone... know nothing about spinal surgeries except the horror stories patients have told me and the thought of metal screws in my back freaks me out.
    I'm only 35 and I still want to hike to the top of the local mountains and I was really starting to advance in karate... still have hopes of getting my black belt someday. I obviously need to think of a new career as well. I can't keep working at a job that makes my back worse but this is all I know and I love my work... any suggestions as to alternatives to surgery (I do inversion which helps temporarily and pt does nothing for me really)... I'm at my wits end.
  • cajohnsonccajohnson PennsylvaniaPosts: 4
    Had an epidural in my neck today why does my shoulder pain seem worse . This is to help it and it feels worse
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