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epidural cervical spine injections

Started by kimila on 09/05/2010 12:21am

I have in the last month recieved 2 sets of injections in a 4 week period of time. Did it cure all the pain? No. But does it feel better then it did? Yes. I have had migraines and headaches chronically for over 7 years with no relief that lasts longer then few months. So far there has been nothing found such as tumors or polyps or brain hemmorrages. I am one of those people that stress over the little things and have recently started to learn how to say if I cant fix it then oh well. The stress we have learned over the years has always been centered in my neck and along the tops of my shoulders. So tense at times that I could cry out if touched. My migraines ironically would either start from the left of neck and move up to blinding pain or begin with blinding pain and move steadily to my left side of neck. coincidence, I think not. Recently had an MRI done on cervical spine for straightening of the spine, still not sure what that is but to go on, found I had a few herniated discs in cervical spine area. Sent to an orthopedic pain management doc, was informed I would be having these injections almost immediately. The first time around I swore I would never do it again, i was in so much pain and I almost coouldnt cope. I also suffer from clinical depression, so you can imagine what kinda hot mess I was. The second series wasnt as bad but the depression got worse and lately have had unimaginable headaches in forehead and left side back of head. To the point where I cant life my head or my arms, is this a side effect? The doc told me i should not need anymore injections but i am still having on a scale of 1 being good and 10 being bad, about a 5 in middle of shoulders and a little ways up on spine. I am clueless as to what to do next. I would like some advice from someone who has been there.

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2 Responses


i feel your pain wth the migrains i get then to got nerve damge in my neck and back got spondylosis and alot more i get 7 injections in ny neck a month then the next month i get 7 in my back they dont hurt me they sting a lttle but after i leave and go home they some times are sore but my neck always feels better 4 around 1 week or so then the pain is back im no doctor at all just person like you the doctor said ill be getting these for a long time but if yours hurts real bad tell your doctor it could be a reaction i get the 7 injections at one time and i have no problems but i have a real good doctor he the best my sister gets them to and she says it hurts her sometimes and makes her sick i told her to tell her doctor but she wont tell your doctor and may be he can change the meds in the injections i hope and pray that you get better dont know if i help any but if you need some one top vent to just hit me up and ill listen to any that you need to got off chest some times we need some one to help us get though all the crazy days of are lives theres alot of people on here going though the same as us so look around in here and see what other people are doing its good info sometimes well i got to go just live life and try to stay happy theres always alot to be thankful for we just have to look some timesw to find it


The migraines and neck issues are two seperate things. One you need a headache specialist for, the other a pain management specialist. A headache specialist, a true headache doctor will give you a questionaire of about 15 pages or so. It has everything from diet, exercise, work, habits, medications, medical problems, then it gets into logging what you were doing when you got or get a headache, what you ate, what you were doing, what meds you took, and so on. The idea is to find the triggers that cause the headaches. Once they do, they can reduce their frequency substantially but it takes a lot of work on both of your parts. You can also try the maxalts, the zomigs, etc, and hope one of them work.

The other issue is your neck. The epidurals are to reduce the inflammation of the nerve roots as they exit causing less pain in your arms etc. I have had at least 50 epidurals. I have had them done by the best doctorss in Houston, Phoenix, and LA. I have had them done with C-Arm guidance by people who are fellowship trained in pain management, by interventional radiologists, and so forth. In other words, these doctors were very skilled. The problem is, that in the epidural space there is nothing but air. Its not filled with nerves, bones, nothing. Its a space. The hope is they put steroid in it and some will infiltrate the areas where the nerve roots are----the theory being they are inflammed and so it will get into those areas. I personally will never have another one. Johns Hopkins just did a big study and found that they are of little value, medicare did one, and said that the # they pay for vs the number of patients who continue to have pain is high, and the conclusion is they dont work. They might help some people, and you dont know until you try, but after 50, I am done. This is over 23 years, its not like I have had them done just for the heck of it.

I would do this---I would find a very skilled fellowship trained pain doctor, and get transforaminal selective root sleeve injections. Those go through the front, into the foramin (where the nerve comes through from the spine) and they put the steroid into it, plus where it exits on both sides of the foramin. Those work. They are higher risk, but with the right doctor who has the skill and training to do them, you can get significant relief. Regular old epidurals are 50-60 year old technology and the selective trans foraminal thing is a relatively new. That is the way to go. Forget epidurals if you ahve tried them and have gotten little to no relief, or very short term relief. Good luck