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Epidural Steroid Injection

Question:

Did you experience complications from your epidural steroid injection? What were they? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Val aw, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 14

I’ve had many epidural steroid injections over the years. I would not be able to manage my back pain secondary to advanced arthritis and degenerative disc disease without them. I’ve experienced side effects but learned how to minimize them. I was having serious blood pressure (BP) falls during the epidural. My doctors gave me IV atropine before each epidural since and it prevents the fall in BP. A few years ago my doctor accidentally hit a cyst so now he uses the caudal approach with no problems.

Comment from: Caroline , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 13

I have had a second lot of epidural steroid injections in my back this morning. And my right leg is hurting. I would have thought it would be giving me some relief.

Comment from: Kimka, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

Post epidural steroid injection my feet are numb. I can't walk on my own. I am trying to stay active, I get around the apartment, and I vacuumed two rooms yesterday. That wore me out completely. Now I have buttock and thigh pain to boot! I just called the pain clinic, and she said to allow 2 weeks. I was prescribed gabapentin 100 mg BID. I don’t understand what's going on!

Comment from: Torturedbydoctors, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I had an epidural steroid injection (ESI) years ago and I remember being in so much pain that I was held down until I passed out from the pain. The ESI was absolute torture and patient abuse. A few days after I lost use of bowel and bladder control and had to have a spine surgery. My spine was really bad at L4/L5, but the injection either injured or exacerbated my condition. I have had 5 spine surgeries because of my spine 'disintegrating,' according to the last surgeon. He felt the ESI I had years prior was the cause.

Comment from: MS, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

I am concerned, my inner right leg and knee are swollen after my epidural steroid injection.

Comment from: Sylvie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I had an epidural steroid injection four weeks ago. I wish I hadn’t done it. The back and sciatic pain are a lot worse now than before the shot. The first two weeks, I was told that it is normal to have a flare up but that the pain should subside starting week 3 or 4. Right now, the pain is increasing every day to reach a level of pain I had not had in a long time. Medicine doesn’t help and now I worry that the cortisone is damaging the bone or that I have an infection.

Comment from: Sissi, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I got epidural steroid injections in L-4 and L-5 2 months ago, and the pain got much worse after, for weeks. I am currently experiencing extreme muscle weakness, legs pain and tremors. Never again.

Comment from: Beenthere, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 03

I have never been helped by this treatment with epidural steroid injection. I feel it’s a way for doctors to profit, not heal. If you’ve had them and your run into a profit-minded doctor, start a search for another one. A tiny dose on a pain pump works miracles.

Comment from: Barbaraj, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 31

The doctor hit a nerve or nerve root while giving the epidural steroid injection, which sent my hip into a spasm. It was the worst pain I have ever had. I was hysterical.

Comment from: Ann, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 28

After the epidural steroid injection I could not stand or walk; the pain in my legs and knees were horrific. It’s been 4 months and I’m in worse pain than before the injection. This was my 5th injection over time and I have never experienced this kind of pain or reaction from an injection. Will this pain ever go away! I’m in pain 24/7 with no relief; prescribed pain medication is not helping. Stimulus therapy has been recommended; but I am afraid to have anyone go into my back again.

Comment from: Cher, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 28

I had my 2nd epidural steroid injection on 7/24/20, and it was awful. The needle went in ok. The first dose went in fine. He adjusted the needle and the pain was off the scale. I yelled and wanted to jump off the table, but knew I couldn't. I had to just lie there while he injected me two more times in that horrific pain! I'm not doing a third shot! Just hoping he didn't damage anything.

QUESTION

Nearly everyone has low back pain at some time during their life. See Answer
Comment from: Dobby , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

I'm a 25 year old female with spondylolisthesis, cerebral palsy, and a cyst on my spine among other issues. I had my first lumbar epidural injection with medial blocker and steroid, today. It was the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. It’s been over 12 hours and I'm still very sore and sluggish. I don't think I can physically go through it again.

Comment from: Marshmello, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 24

I have had 6 epidural steroid injections over the last year and a half. There was a 6-month period between my past injection and the most recent one. Last injection was very painful because the doctor said he was going to go in right next to the nerve. I had a few days where I felt better, then suddenly I've been in the worst nerve pain I've ever had. I now have it in my groin and never did before. The severity of the nerve pain is worse than any pain I have ever experienced. I'm miserable and considering surgery.

Comment from: buster17, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 23

I was diagnosed with diverticulitis 7 years ago, and had very few flare ups, so had got very complacent. The doctor said to eat anything. I ate a bag of popcorn and now have a flare up so I’m convinced that foods like this do cause flare ups. I’m trying to manage with no antibiotics, as I have no fever or blood in stool, just low pain and loose stools. Don’t eat popcorn!

Comment from: MaryS., 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I had my first epidural steroid injection for my sciatica and they didn’t sedate me. The pain got me screaming for 30 seconds straight. It didn’t work. I had my 2nd injection yesterday and I was sedated for that one. No side effects, just hoping for some pain relief.

Comment from: Lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

Yesterday was the 2nd of 2 epidural steroid injections (ESIs), 7 days apart, for L5-S1 sciatica. I had successful ESIs in 2018 with nil post-procedure side effects except amazing pain relief. The injection pain was moderate to severe but lasted no more than 10 minutes. The recent injections though were so excruciating I screamed at the doctor to stop. After yesterday’s injection, I had pins and needles, then worsening numbness and weakness in the buttock, shin and foot that followed exaggerated L5-S1 dermatome regions and I couldn't walk unaided for 11 hours; very dense block.

Comment from: Lorid941, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I had my first lumbar epidural steroid injection today at L5 for a pinched nerve. I’m terrified of needles so I was super nervous. They gave me an IV with a sedative in it. I felt a little pinch and that’s it. I didn’t have any swelling at all in my injection areas. No pain in my back today at all. A little tingling in my right leg but nothing to talk about. I felt nauseated all day but then I didn’t eat anything before the procedure because I thought I had to fast. So far so good!

Comment from: fotica, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I had my first epidural steroid injection yesterday. My nerve being pinched at the spine L5. I also have bone spur and a herniated disc. I still have the same pain, maybe a little worse while lying down. I am hopeful it will be better after 48 hours.

Comment from: Raymo, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 30

The doctor told me he was 4 mm from his target location for the epidural steroid injection, and I felt like my left leg was being electrically shocked. I have never felt pain that severe in my life and I was made to feel as if I had done something wrong. He finally stopped when I couldn’t take it anymore and I never received the injection. He said he would have to try it from a different angle. After that experience, I don’t know if I want to even try it again. I’m suffering from herniated discs in L4 and L5.

Comment from: Carrieanne , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 23

I had the epidural steroid injections in my lower back on each side of my spine on Thursday. Today is Saturday and I am having horrible, sharp, shooting pain and burning in my lower left leg and the same thing behind my right knee. It's extremely painful!

Comment from: Willistheway, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 18

I got epidural steroid injections years ago and I'm still having complications from them. I have terrible muscle weakness and constant pain in my legs, it's an ongoing thing, and never any relief from it!

SLIDESHOW

Back Pain: 16 Back Pain Truths and Myths See Slideshow
Comment from: Babytee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 17

I am wondering if epidural steroid injections make you have diarrhea. I am having to go to the bathroom.

Comment from: John, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 17

I had my first epidural steroid injection about 4 weeks ago. Since then, zero to little back pain and the tingling is gone in my leg. Also since then, I’ve had nausea, headaches, tremors in my hands, 10 lb. of weight loss, depression, muscle spasms, and frequent urination. I hope this ends soon because depression is starting to sink in also.

Comment from: KD, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

This is the 3rd epidural steroid injection I have had for L4-L5 bulging disc, and the first that I have had nausea and dizziness. It is still going on a week later.

Comment from: Lou, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 03

I had two epidural steroid injections three weeks apart, because the first did not work (I’d had one 4 years ago when in tremendous pain and it saved me so I had every faith it would help again). The night after the 2nd one I had horrible pain and burning in my lower leg, and I had to go to Accident and Emergency. It was so painful I was on my knees crying in the corridor waiting for the doctor. They said it was reaction to a caudal epidural and will subside. It did but I am left with intermittent burning in my shin and weak legs. Horrible.

Comment from: Rhonda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 03

I had my first epidural steroid injection a month ago. During procedure the doctor kept hitting my bone, switched gauges of needle, yelled for catheter and hit my nerve. Pain is worse in the area for which I went in, and I have more pain in other areas. They want me to get a 2nd one, needless to say, I am terrified of such.

Comment from: BassGirl , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I started experiencing a throbbing, burning, sensitive to touch pain in my left scapula since getting my epidural steroid shot (to relieve lower lumbar pain).

Comment from: Sylvie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I got the epidural steroid injections 4 days ago. I felt really tired the first 3 days but I was able to go for a walk morning and evening. Today I feel terrible; extreme dizziness. When I woke up I felt fine but when I started to eat... the pressure of the food in my intestines is causing me pain. Bowel movement is making me worse and I can barely hold my bladder. I have more pain now than prior to the injections. Regretting the whole thing now.

Comment from: DebP, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

I had two spinal injections yesterday. I'm a 66 year old female, still working full time. I have arthritis in several lumbar areas. The injections went smoothly. Local anesthetic and two valium 25 mg each. I hardly felt them. They were like bee stings. Today, there's some nervous energy, a little anxiety, but no back pain. The pain is gone, and I'll take the anxiety over it any day. As a bonus, I have an autoimmune condition that produces hives, and they are gone as well. I'll do it again, no question.

Comment from: Giana , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I had my first epidural steroid injection for L5-S1 bulging disc. I do not recommend it for anyone who has issues with anxiety as it caused an extreme increase in anxiety as well as agitation. It also caused a reaction on my skin, my face swelled up, and there was no pain relief. Providers will try to push this treatment as the cure all. It does not fix the problem, and with that being said, it’s not going to work for everyone. Advocate for yourself!

Comment from: Sarah k, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

I was given an epidural steroid injection while pregnant. I miscarried and ended up in the emergency room. I couldn’t move without pain for 3 weeks, and had incontinence and agoraphobia that persisted for months afterwards.

Comment from: teagan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

This is my third time with these epidural steroid injections (L5 and S1 transforaminal epidural). It is day three and I have numbness in both my arms and they feel heavy. I've never had this reaction before and waiting to hear back from the doctor. I am very concerned to say the least. The first two times were successful, but I will never do this again.

Comment from: Alannah, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I have 2 slipped discs and facet joint damage. After 5 months I had nerve cortisone injections in my lower spine. Oh my goodness, the pain that epidural steroid injection caused! They held me down. It's been awful. The pain after was as intense as when I first injured myself. Every day I have been getting worse. Now 4 weeks later, my lower back, middle of my back and neck are stiff and on fire. Irritability is so bad I contemplate hospital as I just want it all to stop. The pain in my lower back and spine are the worst. I want it to stop.

Comment from: David, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 21

I had a bulging disc at L4-L5 and the back doctor pushed an epidural nerve block injection on me. I felt bullied knowing the nerve block is a money maker at USD 1500 a shot. Making the story short, after the epidural steroid injection, two hours later something popped and severe pain hit. All I could do was scream and I knew what happened! I rushed myself to the hospital, MRI was done, and the emergency room doctor said she didn’t see any changes in the bulging disc. She said she could put me in a room with medication; Yes! This was Friday, and Monday I had surgery.

Comment from: Jyeager, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 07

I had a hot burning sensation that went down my spine from the point of the epidural steroid injection; down to and including my crotch.

Comment from: No more, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 02

I had radiofrequency ablation after epidural steroid injections. My hair started thinning and at times I get stabbing pain. Also I'm being treated for a urinary tract infection (UTI). I never should have agreed to any injections.

Comment from: Rissa, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 19

The doctor never mentioned pain medicine before the epidural steroid injection. I was screaming with excruciating pain from the needles, no anesthesia. The sciatica pain was almost unbearable, so I thought finally I will get relief. After the procedure the doctor said, it was possible to have pain for 5 to 7 days. Today being the 7th day, yes, it still hurts. I had the injection 7 years ago, and no way was it even close to the torture this time. I am 88 and don’t take medicines. I have been living on Advil and Aleve, and neither one is good for you. I don’t’ know what I can do now.

Comment from: Terrynumbernine, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 16

I received a cervical epidural steroid injection on my neck on 3/12/2020. I’ve had several of these over several years and used the same doctor. This one was so painful during the procedure and in recovery continued to get worse. I had chest and arm pain, and weakness and tingle in my left arm. My pain got so bad I was sent to the emergency room and on the way I started having strong convulsions on my right side affecting my right side and affecting my speech. Hours later and after medication it finally subsided enough for me to go home.

Comment from: Dale, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I had an epidural steroid injection last November in my spine. The doctor hit a nerve and I had a very sharp pain. After the procedure I went home. It’s been going downhill ever since. I truly believe I got some permanent damage. I suspect arachnoiditis. Beware of these off-label procedures.

Comment from: D Haggy, 65-74 (Patient) Published: March 13

I had an epidural steroid injection last November in my spine. When the injection was given I got one very sharp pain. A few months after I started with burning in my low back and hips. I now worry about arachnoiditis.

Comment from: Dena , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I just had my first epidural steroid injection about an hour ago. I was nervous going into it but the nurses and surgeon were extremely friendly and told me it’s a quick procedure and not as painful as it seems. When they numbed my back it felt a little bit worse than a bee sting. The surgeon then put the other needle in and informed me that I was going to feel a short pain in my left leg for about 10 seconds. He injected it and it was extreme pain. I started to tear up and got dizzy.

Comment from: Luce, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

Yesterday, I had my first cervical epidural steroid injection. Doctor was clear with me about the risks. I had an immediate feeling of pain and muscle spasm which subsided within about 15 minutes. I find that my neck and back are very achy, my head hurts and the restlessness from the steroid made it tough to sleep. Hoping that all will subside and I will be able to resume my activities soon. I was told that it would probably be worse before it got better. Feel like I went in eyes open.

Comment from: Jimmyk, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 10

I had a lower lumbar epidural steroid injection 3 days ago and my pain has been worse. I can’t leave the couch. I hope it will get better. My foot is almost numb.

Comment from: Carol, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 09

I had my first epidural steroid injection 3 days ago. The procedure itself was not bad at all. I felt fine the first 2 days. Night 3 my leg had cramping with extreme pain. It jolted me out of my sleep and cramping was so intense one of my toes contracted so much it almost curled under my foot - I thought it was going to snap! I had to wrap my entire lower leg in ice pack just to fall back to sleep. The worst pain of my life and I've given birth. Back pain feels no better at all. Never again!

Comment from: Debbie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 02

I got the epidural steroid injection in October and I am having the worst pain in the left side of my back where I can hardly walk.

Comment from: Jess, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

I have a herniated disc at L4-L5 and a bulging disc on L5, the start of my tailbone. My first epidural steroid injection wasn’t that bad. It felt sore that day but the next morning was the first time I had felt zero pain in 5 years. It was amazing. I was completely pain free in my lower back for 3 weeks. Week four the pain started to come back but not nearly as bad as before the injection. My second epidural went even easier than the first. I was not sedated for my procedure, just localized numbing.

Comment from: NoESI, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 27

I have S1 nerve root compression due to disc herniation. I had an epidural steroid injection (ESI) in December; after 4 days I felt great, but it only lasted a week. I had another ESI a little over 2 weeks ago, and it's been a nightmare. The procedure was horribly painful, and my left gluteal/leg pain has been horrendous ever since. I have had zero pain relief. This has been a terrible setback in my recovery. The radiologist, neurosurgeon, and rehabilitation doctor all tell me just to ice it and stay reclined as much as possible. Never again.

Comment from: Candi M., 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I had my second spinal epidural steroid injection over a week ago. The first one went pretty well. It didn't take away my pain completely but it was enough to return me to normal function. Then with my second one my pain is worse than ever. I can't do anything and I'm so depressed and in so much pain. I can hardly stand or walk at all. I don't know what is next for me.

Comment from: Solo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 25

Every time I get the epidural steroid injection for my bulging disc impacting my sciatic nerve, I have muscle spasms all over my body, especially my back, stomach and arms. It is worse than the pain I'm being treated for, from my disc.

Comment from: Little Les, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 25

I had an epidural steroid injection and nerve blocker in L4/L5/S1 facet joint 2 weeks ago. It has been successful but the first few days I had awful night sweats and had a problem sleeping. Weirdly, I feel full of nervous energy and not tired at all. Also I have lost 3 lb. in weight and have bladder urgency that I didn’t have before. One strange plus point is that the eczema I’ve had on my hands for 15 years has gone completely. I am hoping that the other problems resolve themselves as the jab wears off.

Comment from: Nicole , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 25

It’s been 5 days since my epidural steroid injection. I have a headache and mood swings ever since. I feel all around sick and my back pain is worse. I can hardly get through my day. The worst part is I feel like I’m losing my mind. My thoughts are all over the place. I feel like I will never go back to normal.

Comment from: Candi 48, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I just had my second epidural steroid injection into my spine a week ago. I have stenosis and a bulging disc. The first one went well and I got some relief. This second one was very intense with pressure that I felt in my legs. I have had extremely severe pain since. My lower back and legs and buttocks are hurting worse than ever. I will not be having another one. I am not able to function normally and it's so depressing. I am wishing for all of us to get relief from this pain.

Comment from: Riddick, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 19

No diagnosis, but I was given bilateral L5 epidural steroid injection at the institute for pain management. Within 5 seconds I had a burning sensation at the first injection site. That burning pain went to my ankle and caused back convulsion. They held me down, and administered the second. I opted out of anesthetic because it doesn't affect me. My normal pain is on average 7 to 8 before the injection, and after it is 9 to 10. The burning sensation didn't disappear until a month later though it still appears on occasion. Physical therapy helped more.

Comment from: Dianne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I already had neck surgery (fusion and a cage) and experienced horrible neck pain afterwards. Physical or occupational therapy provided no relief so I was referred to pain management. Starting in October 2019 I've now had 7 epidural steroid injections (ESI) under general anesthesia. Tomorrow I'll have one more ESI but after that I'm done. The hot flashes and sleeplessness are absolutely horrible, and no decrease in pain.

Comment from: Pat w, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I started getting pain on the top of my left leg after my epidural steroid injection.

Comment from: Penny , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

I had bilateral epidural steroid injections at C2 C3, and the back of my head to relieve migraines, a week ago. I still have headache but now I can't turn my head to the right without severe pain on the left side of my head and neck radiating down to my ring and little fingers. I can't get a response from my doctor.

Comment from: Ltb3105, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 14

No complications from my epidural steroid injection, but my pain became much worse than before I got the injection. It's been almost one week now, and I have yet to feel any relief. I have a pinched nerve and bulging disc affecting the left hip and leg and also arthritis in that same hip for which I will be getting another injection in two weeks straight to the hip. I'm hoping I will get some relief soon. We are trying every option available before we discuss surgery.

Comment from: Swji, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 14

I had a first epidural steroid injection a week ago and had it with just local anesthesia. My pain went from an 8 to a 2 from the time I got up until now. I’m hoping that it lasts forever. I try not to lift heavy objects and keep my housework light. I’m so thrilled and am having no side effects.

Comment from: donna, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I had an epidural steroid injection yesterday in my lower back. There was immediate relief of searing pain for 8 months. I had a little headache and diarrhea for a little while, but feel awesome. Changed my attitude and got a lot done in my apartment. Still feeling great today. Bone and Joint doctors here are awesome. Thank you so much!

Comment from: Ellen, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 12

I had an injection in my ankle and it burnt my whole leg. Now they want to do an epidural steroid injection in my back. I don't want to go through this again. The first one made my CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) worse, it moved.

Comment from: PSW, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

I had epidural steroid injections at C2 C3, 5 days ago. I can turn my head to the left but can’t turn my head to the right without excruciating pain.

Comment from: KY Sorry, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

My back surgery was 9 years ago, I have spinal stenosis. I am a 49 year old female, and they fused L5 to S1. I had 2 broken screws, all unhealed; 2 more surgeries. So try pain stimulator, doctor said insurance needed 3 epidurals. Had 30 plus before, and no relief. His 2nd I screamed, never had a painful epidural. Breathing became labored, went to the emergency room, and found nothing. I went to another doctor and had an x-ray. Paralyzed diaphragm. I'm disabled, can't breathe, and lost a 22 year job. Doctors say can't be, yet x-rays prove. Wish could do over, not have done.

Comment from: K, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

I had my 1st epidural steroid injection a week ago. I'm in extreme pain. Been calling the doctor all week about this pain, went to emergency, they said I have inflammation. No pain pills are relieving this pain. Went today for 2nd shot, it is still just as bad, no relief. I've been bed ridden and miserable and unable to work.

Comment from: Rhonda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

I had an epidural steroid injection two days ago. I had no pain with injection. I feel better. Mine was L5-S1. I have less pain, and hope it continues! I have pinched nerves and degenerative disc disease. I have arthritis in iliosacral area. I pray for being pain free!

Comment from: Margaret, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

I had my 1st epidural steroid injection, and my blood pressure went to 207/90. The 1st day was great, then every nerve and joint pain happened. Even my knee replacements were screaming in pain. Could barely walk, couldn’t sit down and I was using walker. Two days later my back pain is back.

Comment from: Tracy L, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

I had my first epidural steroid injection today for sciatica related to piriformis syndrome. I have had left leg and hip pain for over 6 weeks. The shot was 10 hours ago. During the procedure the needle touched the nerve and I jolted (so much pain!). She immediately moved the needle away and we settled on a spot I could tolerate and she injected very slowly making sure I was ok. I was sore for several hours and using ice on the injection site. Enjoying, almost no pain right now. I hope this continues!

Comment from: dianne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 31

Due to hernias and bulges I've had 5 cervical epidural steroid injections (ESI) so far, from C3 to C6 (my C6 and C7 were fused and has a cage, and I've been in pain ever since that surgery). All have been done under general anesthesia, so they didn't hurt at the time, but they haven't provided any relief from the pain. However, the hot flashes have been horrible! Meltdown after meltdown - hot then cold and all over again. But I'm 61 so the doctor chalks it up to age and not a result of the ESIs (I don't agree).

Comment from: T2, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I had an epidural steroid injection approximately 5 years ago. It was in about the 3rd disc in my spine for my neck. The 3rd day I was in agony. I had pain from the back of my skull to the middle of my back. I had burning, on-fire burning, and pain extreme. I had to be put on Lyrica. I have it still, to this day, it has never gone away.

Comment from: spbg1, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 28

My back went out on me at work and I had to be taken to the emergency room by ambulance, this was January 2001. In March 2001 I had epidural steroid injections, and my back pain was relieved, but I have had a 24/7 headache ever since. It is now almost 19 years. I have seen doctors, neurologists, chiropractors, had MRI, physiotherapy, and different medications. Everybody has said it had nothing to do with the injections, just a coincidence the headaches started that day. I find this hard to believe, life has been miserable.

Comment from: sadwife, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 28

My husband received an epidural steroid injection and I hate it. He is nauseated and in even worse pain than before. We were already limited on activity, now we can't do anything at all. He has trouble sleeping, eating, and even just moving. Never again.

Comment from: Lissette , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I've had epidural steroid injections and after a week and a half, I start to get swollen, my entire body, and all I feel is the weight of my body. I can't walk, and every time I tried, it made it harder to breathe. It lasts for a whole week and then I'm normal again, but the side effects are so scary I can't continue these injections. I have to speak to my doctor and see if there are other solutions.

Comment from: 80HD, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 22

When I had an epidural steroid injection (ESI), there was no pain from the needles at all, as I have a very gentle and caring doctor. I did however, get severe acid reflux. I have silent GERD, but never experience symptoms and never had a side effect from an epidural. I was given the same dose of anesthesia, but since I’ve been taking narcotics for pain since the last shot, I built up a tolerance and was awake, but mostly from the stomach pain. I had to lie on my stomach for the ESI, and the nurse said the pain was from lying on my stomach. I sat up, had water, and pain was gone.

Comment from: Lee, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I had epidural steroid injection for excruciating tailbone (coccyx) pain. Four days after the shot, I feel weak, fatigued, and burning in my buttocks. I called the doctor who gave injection and he said not to worry, probably a mild allergic reaction. I am now scared, and will never have another injection again. Not worth it; I am so depressed and angry.

Comment from: Reggie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I have had 4 epidural steroid back injections in 4 months for various reasons that were told to me - degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, sciatic nerve damage, piriformis syndrome. Needless to say, none has lasted more than 2 weeks. The pain in my back gets worse with each injection. I now have a difficult time walking, standing for long, sitting for a length of time, changing positions, headaches, weakness in legs, and stiffness in my fingers. I'm not sure what to do next.

Comment from: Yvonne P, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I had an epidural injection 3 months ago. I at first had severe insomnia, which eased in about 3 weeks. I experienced shooting pains for about 2 to 3 weeks then they subsided. I later began to feel no pain. I’ve been pain free since November now it has returned. Wonder what I should do now.

Comment from: Very concerned, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I had the epidural steroid injection on the left side for my L5 bulged disc. I actually felt the medication going down my leg, but after the injection I wasn't able to put pressure on my left leg to walk out of the operation room. The nurses used a wheelchair to place me in the recovery room. The nurses and the doctor kept saying, this is usual. I stayed in the recovery room for 1.5 hours because I couldn't walk or put pressure on my leg and foot. When my foot touched the floor it felt like pins and needles.

Comment from: Lucky , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

Epidural steroid injection (ESI) at L5-S1 caused me not to be able to stand. My legs, feet, toes became numb. Ankles wouldn’t hold so I waited 3 hours in the surgical center. The doctor said steroid had pooled in the nerves and caused this. It improved through the day, but my legs felt heavy for about 48 hours. The doctor said I need more tests because I’d lost feeling from knees down and into the top of my feet. It started in the left leg and the right followed. Five days later I have less pain in my low back, buttocks, hips, heels and outer edges of feet into the smallest toes and next toe in.

Comment from: Jwl, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 20

I had a series of 3 epidural steroid injections and the results were unremarkable at best. The pain I had after the last shot was worse than my initial injury. Me thinks it's a big business but maybe it works for some people, not me. I'd be interested to know the science behind it if any.

Comment from: Stef12357, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 16

I had a lumbar epidural steroid injection 9 months ago for annular tears and bulges in L4-L5 and L5-S1. The shot itself was briefly painful. I had no relief, only the usual symptoms of insomnia and night sweats for the first couple days, then the real pain set in. I got the shot to help with sciatica pain in my lower legs. Five days after the shot, I had intense pain from hips to ankles. It was severe and my pain medicines didn't help. It let up after a couple months but I'm still worse off. I regret getting it.

Comment from: unimproved, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 14

Within 12 hours of my epidural steroid injection I was in agonizing pain, and could not sleep through the night. By the next day I could not walk or sit upright without intense pain. I was told to apply cold packs to my back, and began doing so regularly. Nonetheless, I continued to experience intense pain through my entire leg, and increased skin numbness. Five days after the injection, I still am not able to get out of bed or off the couch for more than a few minutes without intense pain.

Comment from: Anne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 09

Please, no epidural steroid injections. Both my husband and I had injection in our low backs. Not long afterwards throbbing burning pain radiated down our buttocks, hamstring, also inner thigh, and front and back of our calves, like shin splint pain. Felt like a tourniquet at the top of my leg. Burns unbearably and tingles like when a limb goes to sleep. Can’t stand long, not comfortable sitting either. Blurry vision, and night sweats. Same symptoms for both and we got the shots together. Not been far from the sofa for 3 months. No relief in sight, crazy, the worst pain.

Comment from: Rafael, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 06

I did two epidural steroid injection within a month because of my sciatic pain. The epidural injection helps me for about two to three weeks, after that now the pain is much worse. Unfortunately I don’t know what else to do, since I can't do any therapy because my pain is chronic.

Comment from: Jb, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

I just had my 3rd cervical epidural steroid injection (sedated) yesterday. The first 2 went great with some discomfort and pain, but nothing unbearable. My neck and shoulder pain was relieved over the next few days with 3 weeks or so of relief. Took the edge off for sure but I just had my 3rd injection and was having severe low back pain to the point where I could barely walk and couldn’t lie in bed because it hurt too bad. Pain medicines, ibuprofen, and muscle relaxers aren’t even touching the pain.

Comment from: ronald, 45-54 (Patient) Published: December 26

I got my last epidural steroid injection for my back. I have been having stomach pain and back pain.

Comment from: Shell, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 23

I had epidural steroid injections for spinal stenosis, scoliosis, disc degeneration and osteoarthritis. Prior to the injections I was on Endone and Lyrica but did not receive much relief. The cortisone shots have decreased my pain by about 60 percent and I no longer take pain killers. It has been a godsend, and side effects so far are constant diarrhea, and feeling a bit emotional for a day or so, but getting better. The decrease in pain for me has been worth the side effects.

Comment from: Giovanna , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 23

I received my first epidural steroid injection today in my lower spine guided with x-ray. As soon as I stood up after the procedure I felt a sharp pain, a headache in the front of my head. The doctor said it was the stress from the procedure. After a few minutes I was numb from my waist down. I couldn’t stand. It lasted for 3 1/2 hours. The doctor at first said it was unusual but later told me that sometimes the needle touches the dura and pokes a hole and pain medicine is dropped down. I still have the headache.

Comment from: Back Pain Guy, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 18

I had 2 epidural steroid injections in my lower spine. A few days after, I started getting extreme spasms and cramping in my right leg to the point my knee locks up when trying to walk. Now, three weeks later, I get cramped in every muscle from my pectorals to my feet with just a small amount of stretching or exertion. You would be surprised how many muscles you use wiping after using the bathroom. These symptoms are almost as bad as the pain. I will be having an electronic stimulator installed later this week.

Comment from: Appleton81, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

I had an epidural steroid injection in my spine last Wednesday and I was told I would feel instant relief. I didn't. My left arm and left leg swelled big right after. I ended up going to the emergency room because I broke out in such a sweat and my heart was racing. I am still feeling terrible, with headaches off and on every day. I have face swelling off and on, tingling in both arms and hands, back is extremely sore, and pain runs up my spine over my shoulders; it is just unbearable at times.

Comment from: Dawn , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

Ever since my last epidural steroid injection I feel something popping and it is extremely painful. It feels as if the disc is slipping in and out. I had never had pain in this area before. He should not get away with this. I do not know who to call to complain or if I should get an attorney.

Comment from: Adfrasher, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 06

I have disc degeneration from a weight lifting accident. I’ve had at least a dozen L5-S1 epidural steroid injections. They work wonders for me, they work between 3 to 4 months. I’m reading a lot of people talking about how painful the injection is… it really shouldn’t be. Your physician should be numbing the area before actually going into your spine. Every time it’s, “okay, you’ll feel a bee sting and a burn,” which is the needle and the numbing agent. Make sure your doctor is numbing it!

Comment from: Jeanne , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

I had my first and last epidural steroid injection today. I have degenerative disc disease, degenerative facet joint disease and osteoarthritis. The doctors made it seem like it was a simple procedure and lots of people get them with no problems. I felt like I had to do it. The numbing shot burnt a little but it was bearable. As soon as the contrast went in I began screaming. I've never hurt that bad! From buttocks to thigh and down to my calf; excruciating pain! Same thing when actual medicines went in too!

Comment from: Pokie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 04

My legs turned blue and black after the epidural steroid injection.

Comment from: hank1157, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 04

I had an epidural steroid injection 3 months ago given at a hospital under x-ray. It was very, very painful. Four days later I broke out in terrible hives on my upper torso, but not my face, that lasted for 7 weeks. I was miserable. The hives are gone, but not the pain. The pain in my back has spread to both legs and my back hurts a lot worse than before the shots. I wish I had never had it done, I am miserable!

Comment from: Debbie t, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I have numbness in my feet and pain in the front of my legs after my epidural steroid injection.

Comment from: SJanowski, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

I had my first epidural steroid injection 5 days ago for my C4-C5. He put it in at the lower part, I think C7, and ran a catheter up to the target area. I had no pain whatsoever but when the medicine went in it felt like the life was sucked out of me and I was going to faint or throw up, but that feeling passed after 5 minutes. I was pretty amped up for the next couple days. I have some neck pain today but ibuprofen worked. Usually nothing takes the pain away, so I am happy. I will go back soon for dose 2.

Comment from: SFPVD, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 26

I have 2 herniated discs, had 3 epidural steroid injections 18 months ago, and pain free. A week ago the pain came back. I had an epidural and it was the most painful experience I have ever encountered. The usual 30 second lightning bolt with shocks at first and then it continued for 4 minutes. I almost tapped out or passed out. I felt numb following the injection but 5 hours later all-out pain is back. I am having shooting pain through my sciatic nerve and medial glute. I am on wheelchair and cane due to the pain in my left leg. Hoping this will subside.

Comment from: Ugh, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

After my L4/L5 epidural steroid injection (ESI) I was in excruciating pain. The anesthesiologists hit a nerve. I felt like I was impaled on a 4” pipe. I was on oxycodone for over two weeks and existing under the sheets waiting for my next dose. Four months later the injection site is still sore and painful. I decided to try acupuncture, which helped immensely. The ESI is a massive money maker for the doctor. The pain clinic I went to runs people through like cattle. Several people say ESI did not work for them either. Beware.

Comment from: [email protected], 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 19

I have blood around my left foot and heel that collected after the epidural steroid injection. The pain was worse in my left leg and foot. So the doctor injected more solution into that leg on November 13. I returned to the hospital on November 16 and had x-rays and sonogram. No blood cloths and no answers to what happened to cause blood on my foot.

Comment from: R3893, 45-54 (Patient) Published: November 19

After my epidural steroid injection in my back, my legs feel very heavy and really ache. I am scheduled for another injection and am not sure if it’s even worth it.

Comment from: KC, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

I had the epidural steroid injection for my sudden severe sciatica pain. Living on opioids for 10 months was unacceptable. The epidural steroid injection worked so well, that I am pain free. It's been almost 2 months and I am so grateful that this injection worked so well. I would recommend this injection to anyone experiencing chronic pain.

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