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Doctors pressuring me to have epidural

I hurt my back in Jan 2013 and ever since I've been on 10 mg oxy 2x a day (as needed, I usually only take it once a day) and an anti-inflammatory and gabapentin. I'm never pain free but the medication combo has things under control and makes the difference between being able to bend to wipe or get dressed vs not being able to.

I've been going to the same doctor since the start but a few months ago my doctor and physician's assistant were indicted for medicaid fraud and there was a lot of turnover in the mean time and I saw a different doc every 2 weeks for a while. Every one of them was trying to push me to have an epidural. Now I've seen the same doctor two months in a row, and his associate the month before, and they're going to be the new permanent ones, and they're both insisting that I get an epidural because I'm "too young to be on narcotics permanently" and other stuff like that.

I'm not comfortable having an epidural. I think that my treatment is fine the way it is and everything is under control as is and I don't see why I should risk making the pain worse for temporary relief (a few months according to the doctors) so that I can "taper off narcotics" and what? Sit in pain in between epidurals?

I really don't want to do it and would rather keep things the way they are, but I feel like I am not in a position to say no. I feel like if I say no they will stop giving me my meds or drop me as a patient. What can I do?


  • An injection previously, there isn't any reason not to . Some people get tremendous relief from the injection. What is the specific issue that you are taking the medications for?
    There are many different types of injections that are used both diagnostic ally and to treat symptoms.
    An esi injection is over in just a few seconds and you may get great benefit from it.
    If it works you may be very glad you did it and if not, then they may be willing to continue with other treatment options. Have you consulted a surgeon regarding whatever is causing the pain? What has he/she suggested?

  • I have lumbar disc herniation on a few discs, stenosis and bilateral nerve compression. Symptoms are stiffness, pain, sciatica, crushing and burning sensation in the hips, grinding sensation in the spine, strangling feeling in the spine.

    Personally I feel like I know which pains come from inflammation and I can treat those well enough with an anti-inflammatory and I don't see how an injection is going to fix these other pains that don't get fixed with an NSAID.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    is that the steroids go a lot further than OTC NSAIDS in reducing inflammation. That is why ESIs are given to many patients. Give the disc and troubled area a chance to calm down so some type of healing process can start.

    And since you indicated that you know your problem comes from inflammation, then I would jump at having a ESI
    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
  • Some specific pains come from inflammation and the anti inflammatory I get from my GP takes care of that. There's a whole range of other pains that still persist and are only lessened with oxy or gabapentin.
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