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Has anyone experienced WORSE pain right after a nerve block shot?

mky_frkmmky_frk Posts: 51
edited 07/20/2012 - 3:41 PM in Spinal Injections
HI All! I just had one set of 3 of nerve block shots in my lower back, around L3-L4 area. The doctor who did it didn't wait for my local to kick in, so I felt all 4 needles going in! The one he did on my right side (where I have been experiencing leg pain as well) hurt like HELL! They were having to hold me down and I was screaming! He kept moving the needle around inside of me to get it where it needed to be. Then when he did the one of the left side, it hurt as bad, but the pain has gone away. The pain on the right side is WORSE now then it was when I went in to see him originally!!!!!!! Has anyone else experienced this? I have had SEVERAL tests and needles previously in my back (Discogram, PLIF L4-S1, 2 Epidural-like pain shots, and a Mylegram) and NONE of these has touched the pain he put me through today. I am scheduled to go back for another shot in 2 weeks, and right now I am SO not feeling it! It was one of the worse experiences I think I have ever had, after they did the shot I was released and heading home within 5 minutes!!! I am not exaggerating!! It was kinda like wham bam thank ya ma'am! There was a line of people going in to get these shots in various places in their back, so they were just getting you out! I was not impressed! But mainly because now it has been 8 hours since the shots and I still hurt like HELL! I am still on Oxycontin 10mgs, Robaxin 750mgs, Naproxen 500mgs, Soma 350mgs, and a Lidoderm patch! I am not getting any kind of relief, any help????? Sorry to go on and on about this! I am actually hoping for surgery, so they will AT LEAST be fixing the problem instead of making it worse! Hope this finds all well and as pain free as possible!! :)
2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times


  • I have always had worse pain after the shots also that lasted a few days and felt my back oh so heavy and weak. I found using ice on the injection sites for about 20 minutes a time a few times a day helpful to stop any bruising. Do you have anything for break through pain?

    I think it's awful they held you down to give the injections! And also not to wait for the numbness fist and send you right home in 5 minutes? They should keep you there at least 30 minutes or an hour. I refuse to go for any more injections without twilight sedation and a fluoroscope x-ray as I used to go to a clinic where they stick me blind and I'm done with that. I do hope you get some relief soon. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • To answer your question, no, I have NOTHING for break thru pain. I have been going to urgent care for a Demerol shot as per my regular doctor, daily, prior to the nerve block shot. I am SERIOUSLY thinking about trying to go back for another one if I can today. I made the mistake of going grocery shopping with my husband yesterday to get out of the house for a bit... BIG MISTAKE!!!!!!! I am using a cane, so pushing the cart helped... but by the time we got done and I got in the truck while he was loading it up, I WAS IN TEARS!!! I was in SO MUCH PAIN! I didn't know what to do, I knew I couldn't handle this extreme pain, it was worse to me then the pain I had leading up to my first surgery in 2009! We went home and he got me in the house and he took care of everything else. I did put an ice pack on my back then and it did help, but as soon as I took it off (after the 20 minutes) the pain came right back. I ended up going to bed. For awhile yesterday, I couldn't even lift up my right leg to walk, it just kinda drug on the floor as I walked. I am WAY to young for all this crap, at least I keep telling myself this! I am 34. Thanks for the idea of twilight sedation... what exactly is that? What should I ask for? Do they have to accommodate that? They seemed to be in to big of a hurry to do ANYTHING that could or would have helped me. Sorry, still kinda bitter... IT FREAKING HURTS!
    2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times
  • I would look for a hospital pain management center. I think a lot of pain centers are just trying to save money doing no sedation and no x-rays at the point of injections.Twilight sedation is given IV by the Nurse or Anesthetist and kind of just lightly numbs you or sedates you lightly while you get the back injections. The pain Center doesn't have to accommodate and give sedation.

    There are some people who can take injections as it's only a few minutes of pain but sounds like you may need a better place. Like I said I'm done with doing anything out of desperation and have to wait longer but would rather get sedation getting these injections for myself anyway. I hope you keep icing and go get the pain shot why not? I'm surprised they still give Demerol through in the ER. Usually they give morphine shots now for pain. Anyways one day at a time and hope you feel better soon. It's awful you're so young having so much pain and hope you overcome. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • After 2 sets epidermal cortisone injections. In both cases I ended up in the hospital. I was foolish and stupid as I let the PM doc talk me into another set. I was admitted the second time for 48 hours while they gave me daluidid. The reason for the pain? the cortisone had no where to go so it put more pressure on the nerves.
  • Thanks for the replies, I ended up going to urgent care today and was given another Demerol shot and on the dismissal papers it actually says JUST TOUGHEN UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you FREAKING kidding me??!?!?!?!?!?!??! My aunt is IRATE and is going to call the hospital on Monday and demand an apology from the doctor! Hell, like a lot of you guys, I do the best I can to WALK!!! I am trying my best to get through one day at a time, but trust me, right now that is hard enough at times. Thank God I have an awesome husband that takes care of me. He has actually grounded me to the bed!!!! :) I go back to my regular doctor Monday, I hope I don't end up back at urgent care again tomorrow, but if I do, then I do, right? Hope this finds all not hurting. And thanks again for the information. I will definitely talk to my pain doctor, IF I go back about sedation. I am also calling my surgeon on Monday and see if we can just move on to surgery, as I think the Pain Doctor nicked a nerve when he was doing the shot. I can not lift my right let up high enough to get into the bathtub for a shower now!!
    2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times
  • hey i did rhizotomy on the 3 July 2013. eversince then i am havind terrible pains, cant stand, walk or sit more than 5 minutes. am just grounded to bed. My doc suggested L4-5, L5/SI ANTERIOR DISC REPLACEMENT. I feel not ready due to pain am enduring right now. I was told that after op, it would take me 6 weeks on bed. the whole situation scares me because am alredy in pains and dont see myself enduring another pain again. dont know whether to go for an op or not
  • I've been having various injections and blocks for the better part of 15 years. It's been my experience that the more pain I feel for about 5 days after the shots, the more likely my doc hit the right spots and I get some relief. Also, the more the pain hurts during the injection (regardless of freezing agent) also the more likely they hit the mark. I can usually guide my pain doc with needle placement when we're not using flouro by what I'm feeling. I can tell by the amount of pain if the shots will be a success. So, don't despair in this VERY RARE instance the more pain the better
  • My epidural injection yesterday was 10 times more painful than last one in May before my discectomy. But like Marni said the one yesterday was so painful I almost felt I would pass out but back and leg pain are already feeling better today. I could feel the medication going in and down the nerve and was exptremely uncomfortable but much better today. When I had one 2 weeks before surgery it was painful when needle went in but felt no pain in leg or back and I knew that he had not found the "golden spot" and sure enough no relief:( So here is hoping he found where medicine needed to go and you will get relief. In meantime just continue to apply ice and dont know if you have pain medications but they help out for first few days. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

  • I just had my second spinal fusion last Thursday and was released from the hospital yesterday. I actually PASSED out this afternoon after I got out of the shower! I was surprised that I was allowed to shower so soon since I still have the staples in my back, but I ended up paying the price. Luckily my husband was there to catch me so I didn't hit the ground. It was VERY scary though and have been in bed since... as per the surgeon's office. and I am now not allowed to shower for 2 weeks! UGH! Please let me know how everyone is doing with their shots, etc.
    2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times
  • awvufan76aawvufan76 Posts: 1
    edited 10/15/2013 - 2:30 AM
    I read these forums to see how my experience compares to others,and from what I read,
    it sometimes makes me sick. In the past year I have had two disc completely explode,and have had two surgeries. All I get from pain management is Norco 7.5.....I read that some of you get oxycontin,soma,ECT. And you all wanna complain about it. Be thankful you are getting what you are getting. I can't change docs due to workers comp only allows changing doc's once. I would happily trade places with you. I also had a nerve block recently done,and I am now worse than I was beforehand.....So please quit complaining about only getting oxycontin.....
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,849
    edited 10/15/2013 - 5:56 AM
    The folks in the Emergency Room are trained to handle trauma patients. By now means is your situation considered trauma. Painful, uncomfortable, yes

    You indicated that they gave you a shot of demerol already. You then went back to the ER for another shot. I am even surprised they did give you one. Many ER's would just turn you back to your regular doctor to handle pain.
    Granted, what they wrote on your discharge papers could have been put in a nicer way, the meaning was still there.
    That information will be passed on to your doctor when you see him/her again.

    Pain is no fun, I've been dealing with it for over 35 years now, but pain medications are not the only answer. Western and Eastern medicine have so many ways to deal with pain. The Western side seems to do more with chemicals, while the Eastern side uses more natural approaches. I have found that a mixture of both of those can help the most
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I had a medial branch block on my left side on L2-3-4. It was really painful and done like yours (3 shots of lidocaine then 3 shots for the block), no time in between, and no observation time after. It was pretty traumatic & I'm left wondering if it helped at all (had it on December 6th). I wish I had better info, but you aren't alone in your experience (mine was at a hospital affiliated pain clinic)
    1/16/2013 Minimally invasive TLIF with rods, screws, and cage on L5/S1 joint to treat grade 2 spondylolysthesis, pars defect, degenerative disc disease. Dealt with chronic pain & nerve issues since at least 2007.
  • First, if the doc hurt me to the point you say you were hurt, I would not go back for another round. I've switched PM docs years ago because the first doc hit my sciatic nerve and I thought someone stuck an electrical extension cord down my right leg. Plus, I couldn't understand him (foreign doc).

    I wouldn't demand anything from the hospital or urgent care. Yes they were unprofessional, but I've had better luck writing a letter to the hospital management. One hospital misdiagnosed my sons frostbite and he almost lost his foot over it. I wrote a letter (once I calmed down) explaining everything and I got a full refund from the hospital charges.

    To your question about the shots causing more pain...yes. But a few days later I was feeling better. My doc doesn't give meds for breakthrough pain either. From what I've been told, new literature suggests that maintenance drugs should be prescribed, but only non-controlled meds should be given for breakthrough.

    If you do go for another round of shots, perhaps you could ask them for something to relax you before the procedure. There is a medication out there commonly used for procedures that doesn't kill the pain, but you don't remember the pain afterwards. It's called Versed (Midazolam). It works somewhat like Oxytocin (naturally in the body) where women having childbirth know they are in pain, but after the birth, they don't remember just how bad the pain was.

    Good luck and I hope you feel better!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Hello..first..Do not let a dr. put you through such agony with the facet joint injections. I have had them 6 times, the first dr. gave barely any sedation, and I screamed with pain. I needed the injections again and I found another dr. The next 5 times, I felt NOTHING. I have also had radio frequency injections twice. But my problem now is.. ( which led me here) , is my pain is 100 times worse since last injections over a month ago. I cannot sit, stand, or walk very far. I am now going to surgeon for the minimally invasive procedure to shave the bone pinching the nerve. What I have been wondering, is , could something have gone wrong with last injections?
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    This is a very old thread, for best support and information I suggest you make a new thread in introductions, you can do this by clicking on 'create forum post' on the left column.


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I had facet joint injections 7 days ago. The first 2 days I felt ok, by the third day my pain started to increase. now on day 7 I can not stand or walk pain in legs and back is excruciating , I have never felt pain like this before. Went back to my doctor and he does not seem to have an answer as to why this has happened, he has ordered another MRI scan. I am so scared, will this pain go away by itself or has something bad happened from the injections. has your pain got any better Lateeda ? anyone else had a similair experience from these injections and if so did it get better.
  • If you have access to a hot tub, perhaps you could spend some time in it to loosen muscles that may be contracting around the joints that got the injections.

    It may not help, but at least it's something that might be able to bring you some relief.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • thanks for your advice,live in the UK not many people here have hot tubs. Having physio on Friday, and will ask to go in hydro therapy pool, hope this helps.
    Keith, do you think I could have got an injury to the nerve from the injection, I thought facet joint injections were quire safe.
    I went to a good clinic and the Doc treating me treats premiership footballers and olympic rowers with back pain, so he must be good.(I hope)
  • You can try ice or heat, whichever helps you more. If the doctor injected steroids into the facets, once the lidocaine wears off, increased pain may occur. Once the steroids start working, things should settle down again. There are nerve fibers in the facet joints, which is why you are experiencing the increased pain.
    I hope it settles down soon.
  • I had a L4 nerve root block on September 4. I am now in worse pain than I ever was before. My pm doctor is lost as what to do next. I am sorry to hear that some of you are in worse pain as well!
    L5-S1 Emergency PLIF Revision May 26th 2015
    L5-S1 PLIF May 22nd 2015.
    L5-S1 Discectomy Feb 27th 2015.
    L5-S1 Discectomy Oct 30th 2014.
  • I had disc block injection and epidural in L5/s1 10 days ago and am now in a lot more pain than before I went in. I'm waiting on another appointment to see the pain specialist, I'm guessing for more injections? Before I had them I could almost get through my day pain free if I kept on my feet and didn't sit down (which doesn't help at all for my occupation!) but now if I even walk for more or sit for 15min it feels like my back is on fire? Is this normal or has anybody else experienced this type of pain? The only way I can get relief is to load up on panadine forte and lye on my side.
  • MeatpackMMeatpack Posts: 1
    edited 09/01/2015 - 12:20 PM
    My first shot was done 8 days ago not only do I have the same pain in back but now the pain shoots down to the bottom of my foot and I get a lot of numbness in the entire leg anyone have same problems

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
  • This has happened to me both times I've had injections... It's so frustrating
    Laceylyn Lang
  • PerplexedPPerplexed Posts: 1
    edited 09/01/2015 - 12:19 PM
    Had my first injection a few days ago and It did hurt more at first but it's gradually getting better. My question is I thought I was getting one injection and I had three sites after it was done. I was put under twilight so I have no idea what they did and only got a brief description before. Do they do multiple sites at once or is that because there was difficulty?

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
  • Dunaway03DDunaway03 Posts: 7
    edited 04/15/2015 - 6:12 AM
    I've had a total of 9 injections and though they didn't do anything for me I hope they are helping others. Anyway, I did have an odd painful feeling after some of mine but I was writing in mostly to share that the pain getting my last ones was horrid, agony is really the only word I can think of. It was three in each side of my lower back - at the end I'm covered in sweat and tears and I hear a nurse whisper "that was intense". I always thought that was kind of funny at least, all I could do was blankly stare at her
  • italianmom00iitalianmom00 Posts: 1
    edited 09/01/2015 - 12:19 PM
    I just had my first of 3 yesterday. Before I went in I couldn't walk, sit, stand or bend. I was laying on my couch for 21 days. It hurt like hell but I feel 80% better today. He said not to do anything that hurts and log or mark where it still hurts for my next set.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage

  • I have a history of back problems. My first slipped disc occurred when I was 30 (11 yrs ago) but a series of visits to a chiropractor for the first time, specific stretches, and getting a fitness ball helped. This was strictly lower back pain.

    Then 4 years ago I had a surgery on my lower back for a herniated disc, which had caused me to have terrible sciatica with a pinched nerve in my right leg. Nothing major but it worked. Prior to that I had 2 separate epirdurals (or cortisone shots) I am not really sure, which didn't do much to fix the problem, which was me walking with a hunchback (all at the age of 37) for about 2 months. The only reason I held off on the surgery was the money issue ( I was in school and working part time and not eligible for workers' comp), that and the insurance I had at the time was not that great. However, following the surgery my bill was extremely low ($220 or something like that). This was all done through a local Orthopedic specialist hospital. The day after the surgery was like night and day. I couldn't believe it. I was pretty much fine until....

    This month (about 3 weeks ago) I noticed I was having typical sciatic pain on my right side (again). While it was not nearly as severe ( I could still walk upright but sitting for long periods, or driving made getting up and standing upright a chore. I would usually have to lay on my back with some ice for about 20-30 minutes before I could stand again, and even then it was uncomfortable and somewhat painful. My pain doesn't sound nearly as bad as some others I have read about here in the forum. Yes there were certain periods where it could be worse than others but, like I said laying on my back for however long needed seemed to temporarily fix it. The meds I have been taking are 500mg Naprosyn, 5-323 Hydrocodone, and some 5mg Flexeril. With the latter 2 I try to be conservative in my doses because they A)don't seem to work after a few days of taking them and B) make me constipated. So they literally don't seem to "do shit". If anything the Naprosyn is the best.

    After seeing a local spine specialist a few weeks ago for this my X-rays showed my back to be fine. A methylpredisone steroid pack was prescribed and it seemed to work but not completely. An MRI showed what I had feared, herniated discs but this time in my upper back. Yay. I also have to add that when I first went to the other spine specialist after my initial problems he told me I had stenosis, which certainly doesn't help.

    Anyway.....my fiancee and I are going out of the country in a week from now so I opted to get an epidural, which was recommended to me at my follow up after the MRI. It was a L4-5 and L5-S1, on the right The procedure itself was fine except for the part where he injected something (I don't know what it was he told me but I can't remember) and it magnified the pain about 1000x from what it was but only for about 30 seconds. I almost cried. While in recovery after this I was told by the nurse that usually the more it hurts the more he found the right spot. The Dr. seemed very relaxed and clearly had been doing this for some time.
    The hardest part was after the procedure, in recovery, before I was sent home. I discovered this when I had to use the bathroom. The nurse wheeled me in my fiancee had to hold me up while I peed .The pain in my right leg seemed worse than before when I tried to put pressure on it, and sitting was no fun either. Prior to that that though when the nurse first checked my gait, about 10-15 minutes afterward, I noticed my right foot was completely numb.
    When we finally left I had to be wheeled out to the car and once we got home my fiancee had to help carry me in and lay me on the couch. Getting up to use the bathroom was not fun either. This continued for about 2 or 3 hours but last night - after having basically laid on the couch all day since the procedure. I was able to walk upstairs, etc. The bad pain that was there after the procedure was gone but now I felt basically like I did before.
    Today is the second day and things seem to be the same. I took a naprosyn when I first woke up and I seem to feeling a little bit more pain free than before. The test will be tonight when I have to sit for 90 minutes (I'm a guitarist and am playing in a local theater production) and have to stand up at the end of the first act.
    I know it takes a few days for the effects to really work so I hope this is temporary. I am also seeing a chiropractor (who deals with sports injuries) starting next week to see what I can do to better remedy the situation. I really don't want to have to get surgery again. But, if it works like it did last time...
    I have always been active: weigh lifting for a time, swimming, biking, yoga, pilates. I do a series of stretches every day based on the videos I have seen here on the site for stenosis, herniated discs, and piriformis syndrome. I am tall and lean: 6'3 at about 160. I have heard good things from several musician peers with the similar symptoms about spinal decompression, and have been told to get an inversion table. A student of mine also told me that her dad had the same problems and the thing that eventually worked for him was acupuncture.
    Any advice from any one here who has had a similar experience to me would be great. I can't believe that this is what I have to look forward to as I get older but such is life. I try to stay positive and have found that daily meditation is a great way to learn to re-direct your mind from the persistent nagging pain, and just stay in a better mindset
    Sorry for the long post.
    Surgery 4 years ago for lower back herniated disc
    Currently have herniated disc at L4-5 L5-S1
  • chuckteachcchuckteach Posts: 1
    edited 09/01/2015 - 12:18 PM
    I had my second round of nerve block shots. I had six shots for SI joint pain and degenerative disc issues. My first round found very little relief. This time around I felt a sharp pain down my groin for a few minutes then within 2 hrs the pain was worse then ever. In 2 days I started to feel this pain on the side of my right knee. This is something new. I have never experienced and discomfort in my knees . By the end of the week I was having trouble walking and getting out of bed. The more I stand on them the worse My knee feels. The Knee even looks like it is swollen a little.
    I am not sure if this is a reaction to the shots or something new. My doctor is on vacation this week and cant see him till sept 11. Not sure if anybody else had anything similar to this after the shots.

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  • Barb PhillipsBBarb Phillips Posts: 1
    edited 09/12/2015 - 2:58 AM
    5 weeks ago I had an injection between L4-L5. The pain increased immediately and has been excruciating since. Nothing gives lasting relief. Wondering how this procedure can continue to be offered. Hoping this unbearable pain will subside soon. Any suggestion on 'fixes' for this condition will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Epidural risks and side effects

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  • I have to add my experience. Had my first injections four days ago and my foot and leg pain is worse than before shots! Also had terrible muscle spasms after the injection in my lower back lowest point for several hours afterwards. Very scary and uncomfortable. The doctor just wanted me out of there so I would not scare other patients. I think the injection and the medicine just adds more to the pressure of the nerves and cord causing discomfort and pain. I just want to get back to how bad I felt before the injections. This was a waste of my health. This treatment is very sketchy and many I see have problems. I will not do this again!

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