I am new to the group. In July I started experiencing moderate to severe upper back, arm and hand pain in my right hand. I saw PMR doc who prescribed traction, PT and gabapentin. Traction and PT made things worse. Gabapentin was not well tolerated as it made me dizzy and depressed. I took a short high-dose course of oral Prednisone which helped the pain significantly until I started to taper off of the drug. I then experienced rebound pain worse than the original.
In mid-October, I had an MRI that identified herniations at C5-6 and C6-7. The C7 herniations is severe. Both discs show evidence of DDD, the remaining discs are good.
Through time and careful exercises and total lifestyle change ( working from home standing, no driving, limited sitting, no housework, etc.) my pain is reduced but not gone. I have muscle wasting and weakness in my right tricep. Two weeks ago I had an EMG which confirmed nerve damage in the tricep but also evidence of nerve regeneration.
My doc does not want to refer me for surgery but strongly suggests I consider the epidural injections. He says they will likely be helpful based on the response I has to oral prednisone. He says with the inflammation reduced, the nerve can busy itself with healing.
Are there any members that have avoided surgery and aided nerve healing through epidural injections? I don't want to take the risk of the injections for pain. I will only consider them if there is truly an opportunity to create a conducive environment for the nerve to heal on its own.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read and respond to my inquiry.