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Should I have steroid injections?
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misschoochoo posted:
My doctor is advising steroid injections for my lower back pain and sciatica due to several herniated disks and some stenosis. I was having lots of pain, but have noticed that it goes away after taking my pain medication I'm taking after total knee replacement (hydrocodone with Tylenol). I'm wondering if it would be wise to try and manage the pain with meds and more back exercises. I'm doing the cat and camel stretch and when I have to bend over, I use the "waiter's bow" to protect my back. Lately, I've been able to get down on the floor (since my knee is better), and I can put my legs up on a chair to relieve the pressure on my low back. I'm waiting on my doc's reply about this too, but I thought someone might have an opinion about the steroid injections. I don't want to risk possible side effects if I don't have to.
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bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group -

some people do not want to have steroid injections as they are scared to try them. steroid injections are used to help reduce inflammation and may also help reduce pain. Normally the injections are used in conjunction with physical therapy/chiropractic treatments as the injections will help make the workouts easier. this may help with some inflammation and pain as you do back exercises - provided these have been approved by a spine specialist, pain clinic and/or physical therapist - normally a spine specialist or pain clinic will write the script necessary for the physical therapist or chiropractor this way they will know exactly what type of exercises to start you out on.

you didn't say what type of doctor you are seeing for your back. have you seen a spine specialist? either Orthopedic Spine Specialist or Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist? they are the best at reading film results (X-ray, MRI, CT Scan etc) and can give the best treatment options.

Seeing a good pain management clinic may help too. I see a PHYSIATRIST Pain Management doctor

http://www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/what-physiatrist

they go to the underlying problem of the pain and treat from there instead of just treating the pain symptoms.

please let us know what you find out - take care - Joy
 
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misschoochoo replied to bj1208's response:
Thanks for the reply, Joy. I did see a Neurosurgeon spine specialist who must have mixed up my results with someone else. I came back to my primary care physician, telling her that the specialist said I had no spine problems. She had read my report already of the MRI, and read the results to me -- T11-T12, L3-L4, L4-L5 & L5-S1 had disk dessication, disk space narrowing, disk tear and spurring. She sent me for therapy, but since I'd had a TKR, and am due for another total knee replacement of the other knee (throwing off my back), the therapist advised me that exercises she could give me at this time would do more harm than good, and to just see pain management. So that's where I'm at now -- with the prospects of steroid injections. I have to manage my time so that I can do my work, then spend any free time doing the exercises that I know will keep extreme pain at bay. For instance, instead of cooking, traveling, going to a movie or out to eat, I have to use that time to do the things that are absolutely necessary, because I can't do it all -- it's too painful. So, I guess the injections are the best bet. I just need to know that they're safe.
 
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bj1208 replied to misschoochoo's response:
Hi again -

that's good you saw your primary care doc and found out the results of your MRI -

My post above has a link for a PHYSIATRIST Pain Management doctor - be sure to read that and find one - your primary doc should be able to refer you to one -

also, they can refer you to a good spine specialist that can examine you and give a diagosis. getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion is good to do.

please keep us posted - take care - Joy


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