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    Spinal shots for pain
    unhappybeoch posted:
    Hi ev1. My name is Theresa. I need to know if anyone else has gone threw this and What should I expect afterward. I am terrified about getting shots in my spine. I have put this off for 5 years and now insurance is requiring a pain management clinic to help with my pain. And they are going to start putting shots directly in my lower spine. I have degenerative disc disease. And most of my discs are herniated. And that's why they want to do the shots. I also have fibromyalgia, and that's causing more pain. I have been on oxycodone for a while now and it's getting to the point of not working. I also have fentanyl patches also, for real bad pain. But that makes me sick to my stomach after a day.
    But the main reason I'm asking about the shots, is I guess to stop being so afraid. I'm having the first shot, the day before Thanksgiving and don't know if I'll be able to have family over, or even be able to make dinner. Can anyone tell me what to expect. Good or bad, I want to know. Thanks.

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    davedsel57 responded:

    Everyone's results vary with spinal injections. Some people get relief to different degrees and for different times. Many people experience more pain the day of and right after the injections.

    I admire you that you could still cook a big meal for family like that with all the problems you have in your spine. You will see another discussion in this community about what many of us are doing for holiday meals. We go out to a restaurant or get carry out dinners. Something you may consider for future years.

    I hope your injections are successful for you and you get good relief.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


    unhappybeoch replied to davedsel57's response:
    Thank you Dave. I was told I have a high tellerance to pain by the doctors. I still live, what I consider, a full life. I have pets, like fish, birds and dogs, and feed the wild life outside. And I still do my daily things, like cooking and cleaning. I think between the grace of god and my family, are the reasons I keep going on with life, like I do. It's kinds hard for me to say no to a blue jay looking in the window for a nut and my grandson's eyes watching the blue jay with such excitement. Thank you again.
    cweinbl responded:
    What kind of "injections?" Are you having trigger point injections? Spinal nerve root injections? An epidural? A radio-frequency ablation (rhyzotomy)? There are many different types. What medications will be injected? Steroids? Anesthetics? A combination of both?

    The more detailed information you provide, the better we can help.

    All of the research points to one very solid conclusion. If injections do not initially help, then future injections will also fail. While the morbidity is low, it is possible for a fumbling physician to impinge a spinal nerve root with the needle, which can result in permanent nerve damage and lifelong pain.

    The best thing to do is ask all of the questions that asked above and then one more. That final question should be, "How many times have you performed these injections?" You are the customer. Never fear asking the physician the hard questions. In fact, most physicians will appreciate the fact that you know what to ask.

    Finally, there are dozens of other treatments for your condition (which I also have had for 40 years). Here is the latest comprehensive research on all major types of spinal interventions:;12;699-802.pdf .

    You should also enroll in a comprehensive pain management program. This program should offer many various non-invasive and minimally-invasive options, including: spinal decompression, a corset, brace, TENS, traction, acupuncture, biofeedback, physical therapy, kinesiotherapy, spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal infusion pump, off-label medications (anti-depressants, anti-convulsants), combination of long-acting pain medication with breakthrough meds, counseling, hypnosis and meditation. Ask your physician for a referral.

    Good luck!
    unhappybeoch replied to cweinbl's response:
    The shots are steroids. I have degerative disc disease, The whole spine is breaking down and has spread to my hips. And yes it can spread to other connecting bones. One hip has deteriorated half way down. And I have tried the anti-depressants and anti-convulsants with no success. The doctor and me have gone threw all, what the insurance will cover and nothing is working. All that I had left was the pain control clinic. And this is the first thing they want to do. Some hernniations are pressing on the spinal column And I have been told, there is nothing that can be done for that. I'm a 49 years old with a back of a 100 year old person as the doctors tell me. There isn't much they can do, but find a way to ease the pain.
    ctbeth replied to unhappybeoch's response:
    May I make a suggestion? Perhaps you can google search

    "Degenerative Disc Disease", to learn more about what it is and what some of the treatments and rationale are.

    DDD is a very common situation for persons over the age of forty;.

    It does NOT mean that your spine is, "breaking down".

    Have you arthritis in your hips?

    It is concerning that you were told that there is, "nothing that can be done for that".

    There are many treatment options.

    The more you learn about your condition, the better decisions you can make regarding the many different treatment approaches to DDD, if it is causing you pain.
    unhappybeoch replied to ctbeth's response:
    When I said my spine is breaking down. I meant The disc are 90% herniated and virtibras are deteriorated bad. The rib bones on the virtibras that hold the mussel and nerves by the neck are gone. And the hip bones are deteriorating also. Arthritis is there but the bones themselves are falling apart. And from what was explained to me, the pain is from the herniated disc and the mussels and nerves rubbing against the damaged bones Plus the herniated disc, where the herniations are going into the spinal column. And adding to the pain is an extra virtibra and disc. They can't find the reason why the calcium and vitamins isn't reaching those bones and hasn't been since I was about 20, when this all started to happen. I have been to 2 specialist that travel world wide dealing with major spinal problems and both told me the same thing. There is nothing, they can do for me. New things are out there but I'm to far gone for them to help. I got to the point of giving up on the specialists and just keeping myself going forward. I was told I would be in a wheel chair by 30. and I refuse to let that happen. And I must be doing something right because I'm almost 50 and still walking.
    Right now all I'm looking for, is to help with the pain. I have been to hospitals like Loyloa, University of illinois, and Cook county hospital. All training hospitals with big specialist, always told same thing. They can't do any thing for me. Just more pain pills and pain management clinics. That's all I hear.
    Sorry about the spelling never was a good speller. And sorry about jumping from 1 thing to another while talking. But trying to explain everything I was told. Thanks for replies and will google up everything, maybe I missed something before. I was always at libaries check up on med and what is the disease is doing to my body. Now I just can google things up.
    ctbeth replied to unhappybeoch's response:
    That is a whole-lot more than degenerative disc disease.

    Does your disease have a name?

    I am an RN and there are many other RNs on this site. I wonder if any of the other nurses have heard of a disease by which, "the bones themselves are falling apart" , as your bones are.

    It is uncommon with DDD that the thoracic vertebrae herniate, but, 90% of your discs are "deteriorated bad".

    What is the name is your rare and unusual disease?

    Have you heard about Mayo Clinic?

    If your bones and spine and muscles are all just crumbling away, then your getting ANY pain relief is a good thing.

    What will eventually happen in your situation? Will your body tissues just disappear?

    Does this also effect your internal organs?

    I am quite interested in the name of this un-usual phenomenon that causes your bones to disintegrate.

    There also is money available for treatment of rare and "orphan" diseases.

    Since steroids can have an effect on bone tissue, has the MD explained that effect, since, as you wrote, "bones themselves are falling apart."

    This all is quite interesting.

    I really would stress that with all of this you have going on, it seems remarkable that you can get ANY relief!

    IS it safe for you to walk? If you were to fall, wouldn't your bones just crumble?
    ctbeth replied to ctbeth's response:
    P.S. ESI stands for epidural steroid injection(s).

    The injection is NOT into the spine; it is into the epidural space.

    The epidural space is the area outside the spinal cord but inside the(bone) vertebral canal of the spinal column.

    Three layers of tissue cover the spinal cord.

    The epidural space is the area of space between the outermost tissue layer and the inside surface of bone in which it is contained.

    The epidural space runs the length of the spine.

    Studies suggests that ESI increase the risk of spinal bone fractures and researchers say patients with bone loss should be warned about this risk.

    The research was presented at the annual meeting of the North American Spine Society.

    For a person with, "bones themselves falling apart", it would seem as if steroid injections would carry a risk.

    I hope that you can get all this straightened out.
    unhappybeoch replied to ctbeth's response:
    Thank you for letting me know that. See at the pain clinic, They never told me anything about that. They are just pushing the shots. They know all about the bones deteriorating and still want me to get them. I guess they figure since the bones are already deteriorating, They can't be held liable if it cracks.
    I guess I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. Because my insurance is requiring me to go there, If I want to keep getting the pain meds. But I have started to get use to the Oxycodone and The Fenanyl patches. And within the last 10 years FM has set in from the deterioration. Also mini strokes and a few other things.
    I have had 2 kids Natural, and both breach. I refused any epidurals shots back then, afraid it would mess up my spine. And now being forced to get them, to keep getting meds to try and live some what of a normal life. Thanks again and god bless you.
    unhappybeoch replied to ctbeth's response:
    Listen additute i don't need. you know what I meant. You try living in pain 24/7. wake up in tears at night from pain. And still live your normal life. I thought I can find help here.
    davedsel57 replied to unhappybeoch's response:
    I don't see where anyone has given you "attitude". We are all just trying to help and share our knowledge and experience.

    Everyone that comes to this WebMD Pain Management Community knows all to well what it is like to live in pain 24/7. We know the frustration and the tears. You can find help here if you just read and try to understand what we are sharing.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


    ctbeth replied to unhappybeoch's response:
    Dear Theresa,

    I do live with pain 24/ 7 and try to live a somewhat "normal" life.

    That's why I'm here.

    You do not know anything about me except what I have told you: that I have spinal cord injury and that I'm an RN.

    I am one-of the few who even replied to you, as your story is so "over-the-top", AND I have given you good information that is medically correct.

    Your story is very hard-to-follow. A disease that causes bones to "fall apart" is kind-of unknown, as is degenerative disc disease in your hips.

    The bone fragments in your bloodstream would cause deadly consequence.

    I have also read your posts whereby you have stated that because of your fibromyalgia you have "caught" Cystic Fibrosis and neurofibromatoma.

    Both of these disorders are genetic. Cystic Fibrosis is usually diagnosed in early childhood and the (projected) life span is into the early 20s.

    Neurafibromatoma is the "Elephant Man's" disease.
    It is also genetic, and cannot be "caught". It is present from the instant of conception.

    John Merrick had the most-extensive case recorded. There are many variations of severity,

    BUT, you cannot catch a genetic disease, even though you have Fibromyalgia.

    Now, please read this as it is information meant to help you:

    The epidural steroid injections do not go into your spinal cord, particularly if they are LUMBAR, as the spine does not run the entire length of the vertebrae. There is no spinal cord in the lower lumbar spine.

    Epidural steroid injections have an amazingly low risk of complications. They have the potential of giving you weeks-to-months of relief. They did not help me at all, but, to me, it was worth trying before moving on to surgery.

    It's also fairly easy on the person having them. I did not experience the pain as more-than a bee sting-type.

    Some people say that the injection hurts far-less than they anticipated; others experience it as more painful. Even if it is experienced as painful, it's over quickly.

    You are being asked questions because much-of what you're saying is things that are medically impossible- and bizarre.

    This gives you the opportunity to ask your Primary Care MD for an accurate diagnoses. You can then search the syndromes that you have been diagnosed and be able to separate wheat from chaff, in parlance.

    SJohnson responded:
    I've recently had 4 series of shots in the L and S areas. The first three worked great but the last series in the S area has not helped at all. The Dr wants to try 2 more series in the S area before giving up on this type of therapy.
    I am sedated for a short period of time for each injection which helps. I am able to walk out of the office with very little help and can walk completely on my own within a few hours. I am able to return to work once I am walking on my own. The injections really seem to help as said except for my last one in the S area. I am hoping that the next series will do the trick at least for a time.
    I say, give it a try and be patient with the results. Let me know how it goes.
    unhappybeoch replied to ctbeth's response:
    I'm sorry I felt very offended when you said about walking and falling and the bones crumbling. Since I turned 20 so many medical problems came out on me. and the Cystic fibrosis and the neurofibroma just started showing, last year. At 20 I was diagnost with the DDD (degenerative disc disease) And It was severe. The specialist I was seeing, said I had the back of a 92 year old person. He was afraid to do any type of surgery or fusing the bones together, Because it would have been a short term fix. And as I said the disc are mostly herniated ( some have fragmented) and the vertebraes were showing deterioration on them already. ( the rib bones as he called them) on the neck were gone. I lived with that pain but about 10 years ago, the pain has increased and I was diagnost with the FM. Put on a type of morphine. That doctor was working with people with FM, doing studies and all. And told me my case was to far advanced and he couldn't help me. Well as I said now between ex-rays and MRIs (without dyes, cause I'm allergic to them) Was told I have White specs in the brain, explained as mini strokes. cysts started showing on and under skin, and in organs, most of them female organs. And the neurofibroma is on the back part of my hip bone (on my lower back). It is see-able as a small bubble about the size of a quarter. So far only one seen, but was told they may be more. And yes the hip bone has deteriorated more then half way down, was told cause it's connected to the back bones, that's why it is deteriorating. And must not forget the ulcer from the meds, That is proventing proteins to get to my brain. I have been threw more MRIs and ex-rays in the past few year then I have ever had total before then. Every time I go for an ex-ray or MRI something else shows up. I'm very lost and confused on why everything is showing up now. And the doctor and myself have been looking for a connection on all these things and a reason why now. He thinks it can be part of the menopause for me, but have never seen anything like I'm having, happen to anyone else. I appoligies again. I am starting the shots tomorrow and am going to try to get some rest. Take care ev1 (everyone).

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