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Greetings from PA

Hi. New to this forum and glad that I found it.  I'm 46 and new to this 'back stuff'. I always took my back for granted.  Worked for many years as a career paramedic and have been working in industrial maintenance for the past 6 years.  Started with lower back pain on Jan. 21 and by the 22nd was unable to walk.  Fast forward......Herniated disc (L5 & S1) and a fracture to the L5.  Not sure how that happened.  No sleep, no pain meds masked the pain, etc... Today I received my first epidural injection.  Was hoping it was going to be an immediate fix but found out it can take up to 7 days to take affect.  I just want the pain gone so I can go back to work.  PT does help a bit with the pain but is also painful going through it.  Anyway, you all take care, be safe.  Hope to chat with ya's soon.


  • Hi there.
    Glad your injection went well - now it's just the waiting game huh?

    I had my first transforaminal injection (steroid) almost 2 weeks ago. Not much happened the first week but there was some improvement - i could stand up again, but not for long and i was able to come off diazepam.
    In the second week there has been more improvement. I am still taking it really easy - no lifting, bending, twisting, using ice, using heat, on anti-inflammatory medication but i can stand for longer as the pain has reduced.
    I haven't had any PT yet and have bought an adjustable back brace to remind me not to lift, bend or twist when i am up - i am trying everything not to re-injure. I don't have a fracture but i do have an extrusion at L5 - it started in Sept and got worse despite PT, thus the steroid injection.

    My Ortho Surgeon said to give it 3 weeks to give it a proper chance to work. 

    I guess what i am saying is try not to be too disappointed if it takes longer than 1 week to do its thing. I know it's tough - i have been so frustrated with my limitations and the pain. Some days nothing happened, then for no reason 3 days later there be a minor improvement, then nothing for a couple of days etc

    I wish you a successful outcome. Take it easy.
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,496

    welcome to the spine-health forums.

    just wanted to welcome you to the group.  i wasn't able to try injections, so i can't help much.  glad that you found us.

    please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started with the forums: welcome to spine-health


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,443
    Medic451, welcome to the group of Spineys!!
    Did your doctor tell you to take it easy for a few days? I've had my fair share of injections over the years and was always told to take it easy.
    I can honestly say I had one that helped for a few days but none ever worked again.
    But everyone is different. I did better on a medrol pack of steroids than shots.
    Please keep us posted on your progress.
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical Story  
  • Thank you all for the replies.  It's been 8 days or something like that and still having pain in the lower back, butt and down the leg.  Seems like the epidural took the edge off but I'm still walking with a limp to compensate and the pain wakes me from my sleep.  Do they give a 2nd epidural if first one isn't working well?

  • betty16bbetty16 Posts: 47
    edited 02/22/2017 - 9:54 AM
    Hi there.

    Has there been any improvement?

    I just checked my pain diary & by day 8 there had been some improvement & for a day or 2 i thought i'd gotten worse. For me it wasn't until day 10 i could walk downstairs again. And it was only really at the 12 day mark that i saw real improvement in terms of pain & movement. It will be 3 weeks tomorrow & the main pain is in my hip area & i still experience pins & needles with specific movement. There seems to be no clear path on how these injections work - but for me it was worth trying to see if i could avoid surgery.
    I believe you can have up to 3 injections a year - i'd check that with your specialist.

    Are you getting any decent sleep? After the injection i was waking up in pain but could get back to sleep after taking a pain killer. That was only for about 4 nights in the first 2 weeks. 

    When are you seeing your specialist again?

    You may find more useful info in the Injections part of this Forum?
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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,443
    Medic, good to hear from you!
    Injections are usually a set of three and can be given as often as needed. But it is advisable they need to be injected in different areas and not the same place every time as this can cause tissue damage. That's why you always hear there is a limit. And there is but only if it's done in the same area.
    Call your doctor and schedule another one if you think it might help more.
    But I am glad to hear you got some relief but it might take more.
    Good luck, keep us posted.
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical Story  
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