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Cervical epidural injections

I am a 67 year old female. I work as a flight attendant for a private airline, approximately 14 days/month. I started having severe neck pain and headaches that started at the back of my neck and went up to the top of my head....nothing would
Make the pain go away. I saw a neurologist, who ordered an MRI of the cervical spine. It showed several disc herniations, bony spurs and disc space narrowing from C4-C-6. I then was referred to a Neurosurgeon, who agreed that surgery would be the only real solution, but knowing about my job requirements, he agreed to go the conservative route and sent me to Comprehensive Pain Care Center, where, again I met the most understanding doctor. I was given a note for 6 wks off work while getting a series of 3 epidural injections, 2weeks apart. I have now been a good 60% better, and it has been 8 days since the last injection. I have been given 3 more weeks off and have now had 15 sessions with a PT, where I learned to perform strengthening exercises every day at home. I have a follow up appt with the pain mgmt doc in 2 weeks and a follow up with the Neurosurgeon after that.
I am hopeful that I will have enough relief to avoid surgery so I can continue to fly for a couple of years. I'll let you know.



  • Isn't it good when you finally get some relief?

    I'm the same age as you with a long history of head and neck aches, and my GP says simply that my neck is worn out!
    Just take pain killers.

    But I have found alternatives that are more acceptable and effective.

    I notice from your post that no-one seems to have given any attention to potential soft tissue problems as being a cause of pain.

    From my experience this is where you should start. It is the soft tissues that have to work out how to cope with spinal changes, and they soon get tight and very sore.

    I've had 9 sets of those injections, with about the same success as you. Helpful but not life changing.

    My first major improvement came from having frequent remedial massages, as suggested by my pain doctor.

    This calmed and relaxed my neck, shoulder and back muscles that were all tight and sore.

    Not cured, but at least I could get treatment quickly that worked.

    After that, my biggest success. Magnesium chloride. This was what my muscles were lacking, and after a few weeks they were able to function normally.

    I now no longer need regular massage just to live, my pain meds are now for stiff spine joints, and my headaches are gone.

    Doctors seem either unable or reluctant to include soft tissues in their diagnosis, yet i believe this is the most likely area for head and neck pain. You can have all sorts of joint spurs etc but no pain at all. So those things aren't always a guide as to what's wrong.

    Unless you include soft tissues, you are unlikely to get to the root cause.

    You could also try a physiotherapist for an examination, loosening up of the joints, and gentle massage. They are very good for sorting out this type of pain.
    Ask them about the constant increase in neck pain from the modern electronics devices!
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