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L4 / L5 extrusion & herniation - epidural injection

ConstantPain24CConstantPain24 Posts: 2
edited 08/26/2015 - 5:21 AM in Lower Back Pain
New member here. I've had bad lower back pain since 10/2014; it started when I was getting out of my car. No trauma, no real shock to the body that caused it, just getting out of my car. I could barely get up and walk for nearly a week. I got an MRI and it didn't really show much out of the ordinary, at least nothing to explain the constant pain. I went to see my chiropractor / physical therapist who I'd seen on and off for the past 5yrs (I'd throw out my back every couple of months, go see him a handful of times, and I'd be better), thinking I could work with him to get rid of the pain. I saw him 2x per week for about 2.5-months, but felt like I plateaued: the pain definitely went down from the original incident, but I still felt pain in my lower back and waist area. Leaning over to brush my teeth or wash my hands caused pain; putting on socks or underwear caused pain; getting in and out of bed caused pain. I figured if he couldn't fix it in nearly 3mos, it was time to try someone / something new. I went to a different physical therapist for about 2mos, and no relief. Since then I've tried so many things: acupuncture, massages, bought an inversion table, an at-home stim machine, tried various anti-inflammatories. You name it, odds are I tried it. I've been doing PT for the past 2mos, when last week I felt a terrible pain above my left buttock and couldn't really walk again. I got an MRI last week which showed an extrusion with leakage in the L4 / L5 disc area. So I decided to get an epidural injection last Friday (I had always wanted to avoid it, but just couldn't anymore). I felt immediate relief, which last for 4-days. I was extremely optimistic that it was working. Last night / early this morning my optimism was gone when I could barely walk or stand without intense pain. The pain management specialist who gave me the injection said it would take 5-10 days for the injection to start kicking in, but I'm pretty discouraged after days of relief and now intense pain (even though they told me this might happen).

So my questions are:
- has anyone else had an epidural injection?
- if so, was your experience similar to this?
- if this hasn't worked for others, what did you do next to alleviate some pain?

Sorry for the long post, but thought it was necessary to lay out everything. Appreciate any and all advice.



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I have had two bilateral epidurals for a large 2cm herniation at my L5/S1 as I want to try everything before thinking of surgery. The first epdiraul didn't help me at all so I had my 2nd one moth later. It did seem to help as yours did for a few days before the pain increased again. My pain doctor wants to try a direct epidural shot to the L4/L5 as he believes a direct path might have more effect.
    Keep you spirits up - it can be a long road. I am only entering week 14.
  • I am so sorry, I posted something that was wrong.. it could have been advice and I really did not mean for it to be!!!

    Forum Rule:
    5.06 You agree not to post information that is considered to be formal medical advice.

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    Linda Watts
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