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Steroid Injections: preventative, or cure?

Or both?          


What I didn't mention in my first post a couple of weeks ago is that there were 3 weeks of moderately strong pain that preceded the full-blown attack (L4-L5 herniation) that made my wife call 911.  During those 3 weeks I experienced increasing tension all over my lower back and I had to walk, sit and lay down with great care to avoid more pain.  There were two stages:  the 3 weeks of Level 6 pain, followed by a severe Level 10 attack.


I've read about steroid injections as treatment, but is that only in the middle of full--blown attacks, to relieve extreme pain or is it also used to prevent such an attack?  Since then I have recovered for the most part.  But I feel increasing tension in my back.  Should I get an injection now or wait until it hits with full force again?

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Comments

  • For me, injections have never been a cure, but I have had really good success at times with them, others have not worked at all, I think a lot of it depends on the severity of the problem to start with, if inflammation is the issue, injections can be very helpful at times.

    Chip

  • I agree with chip , the injections aren't a cure just pain relief ( if it works). I have had 8 in my L5/S1 over a two year period back in ‘09/10. And recently 5 in neck, lumbar and hip. Still waiting on a few more. Any relief to me if worth a try. Good luck. Harpy

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  • charryccharry Posts: 266
    edited 09/09/2020 - 3:40 PM

    I always had a series of 3 steroid injections a few weeks apart in the beginning for herniated L5-S1. The steroid takes down the inflammation. 

    I now get RFA which is nerve burn that numbs the nerve that gives pain signals to the brain but at the same time get a steroid injection. I get this procedure once a year for the past 8 years. All injections done under live x-ray with mild IV sedation  

    The RFA is not for muscle pain but for nerve pain. If the Dr thinks RFA will help they do a test injection to see if you’re a candidate for this procedure. 


    As for muscle tension I’ve had trigger point injections but me with fibromyalgia am hypersensitive to injections but they did help with no sedation for these in the beginning. 

    My back pain was unbearable could never get comfortable burning sharp shooting pain. RFA only helps 30-40% of my pain but so beneficial. I was on a long waiting list to get into this hospital pain centre but worth it in the long run.

    While I don’t get complete pain relief other people do! So just sharing my story. And the PM  Dr told me to walk to get the steroid in there working.

    My Dr is late sometimes because if someone is in horrid pain he does emerg injections to someone who can’t wait 20 months to get into complex hospital pain center. 

  • Thanks, charry, that was informative.  May I ask how many times you suffered an attack before you got the treatments from your PM doctor?  I wonder because I've only had one so far.  But the trouble is, I don't know if I should act fast or wait to see if this will become a continuing issue like you have.


  • My pain was reduced after the steroid injection but it never went away so my Pain Dr repeated the injections again after a few weeks and again a third time so only allowed 3 times a year as steroids weaken bones.

    But I always had to go to Physiotherapy after injections to learn to bend and lift properly and strengthen my core. 

    I saw a Orthopedic surgeon as my pain never went away but had to get the steroid injections 3 times a few weeks apart. I got a referral from my family Dr. to see if I was a candidate for surgery but I’m not so I’ve had several referrals but I had to change my lifestyle as well. ...

    I had a pain management Dr. You should probably follow up with the Dr who gave you the injections in ER. They probably have a pain clinic in the hospital. But I don’t know if you had injections in ER or by pain Dr but you have to follow up with him to see how the injections helped like do you have a follow up appointment? Take care. Charry

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