Should I try an epidural for a disc bulge?

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I've had an L4/L5 and L5/S1 disc bulge since July/August of last year. The pain has improved to an extent, initially when I put my spine into flexion the pain would radiate upwards. Now it's more centralized in my lower back, but it's still very persistent and hasn't gone away.

I went to a physiotherapist who made me quite skeptical as she has me do exercises which made the pain worse (such as lying on my back and tucking my knees into my chest, thus curling my lower back upwards). The only useful thing she gave me were the McKenzie exercises which centralized my sciatic pain.

I was referred to Spine Care and they said that an epidural would reduce the inflammation and reduce the pain.

I'm not sure whether I should actually pursue this, I've heard a few stories where the pain simply got worse for some people and didn't really help. I would like the pain to be reduced as I've had it so long, but would the reduction in inflammation help the healing process of a disc bulge?

Thanks.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Issack

    I had epidural and nerve block injections about 6 months ago. The procedure was pretty painless and I refused sedation that was offered.

    The whole thing took around 20 minutes to complete.

    Sadly, I had no improvement at all from the injections. Having said that, my brother has had the same procedure twice now and has had dramatic improvement to his mobility and pain reduction on both occasions.

    All I can safely say is that it depends on each individual as to what benefit you will gain.

    Whilst I gained no relief, my advice would be to have it done.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      I guess I'll give them a ring tomorrow and get one booked... is there a typical time that the pain relief is meant to last? Or is it relative to each person?

       

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    • Posted

      Again I think it's relative Issack. My brother had around 7 months between his procedures.

      Also i think the idea is that it improves your pain by reducing inflammation etc. So the need for further injections is reduced hopefully.

      Good luck and keep us posted with how you get on wink

      Stu

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  • Posted

    I had the epidural a few years ago. I was pain free for about a day exactly a week after I'd had it done.

    Then in November I had the nerve root block done and this has almost completely killed my sciatic pain, I still have moderate to severe back pain but  no sciatica.

    I have a L4/L5 disc herniation with annular tear. I've had Physio, accupuncture and tablets... nothing really works. My consulatant is reluctant to send me for surgery because I'm only 39, so I just put up with it. For now.

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  • Posted

    Hi I had a discetomy & laminectomy in April of last year (L5 S1) prolapsed disc but unfortunately it popped out again October and i had further surgery with little success. My consulatant wants to operate again but i am reluctant to go ahead with more surgery with no guarantee of it being successful. Therefore i had a nerve root block injection, after 2wks i had a little relief but now the pain in my buttock and leg is starting to return.  With some people this is helpful for pain relief and i think when you are in so much pain it is worth trying anything.  Go ahead and have whatever they offer you. x

     

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