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Epidural Steroid Injection


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

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

I was unable to sleep for 3 days and was nauseated for 10 days. I couldn't tell which I felt worse from, my back pain or the epidural cortisone injection side effects.

Comment from: Maynard, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I had an epidural steroid injection a week ago. I felt great the next day and a half. Then wham! I was in tears and not able to get much relief through the night. Next day, the pain started to decrease and I was able to move easier. I slept so hard that night, little pain with medicines. Afternoon and nights are almost pain free, but, when I get up it takes about 4 hours to stop the pain. But, the morning pain is not even close to before the injection. This after one week! I know I'll need another and I'm up for that!

Comment from: RB, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

I had my first epidural steroid injection yesterday for L4/L5 disc bulge. I am not sure how much it will help but actual injection was far better than expected. It was an image guided injection so had continual x-rays, needles going in felt ok and actual injection going in was more uncomfortable than painful, totally numb left leg afterwards, which is normal, and then slept for nearly 12 hours last night! Feels sore today but ok so far.

Comment from: SB, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I have an L4/L5 bulged disc. I have been doing physical therapy for months and am only improving at a very slow pace. A little over a month ago I had an epidural steroid injection without sedation. It was quite uncomfortable but certainly tolerable. I did not notice any change in my pain level afterwards. Yesterday I had my second one also without sedation. This time it was totally off the charts in terms of pain. Excruciating pain during the injection. I do not know why the two were so different. Too soon to know if it helps.

Comment from: Ginny pig. , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 11

I had an epidural steroid injection 6 weeks ago for 3 herniated discs. The injection went well as I thought. Three days post I experienced all over body pain and bad muscle spasms. My neck and shoulders were on fire, muscles in my legs hurt so bad I could hardly walk, and I had to have help with all activities of daily living. I'm still experiencing extreme hot flashes with the worst mood swings. Anyone can imagine one right after the other, then extreme cold flashes. I feel like a leaf on a tree on a cold winter day it's awful.

Comment from: Staypositive , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 09

I received my third epidural steroid injection today. It went well; extremely well. I take them without sedation as personal preference. I had them in L5-S1. I love my pain doctors. They are absolutely amazing. For those who claim they don't have a choice; you as a patient have every right to refuse. Also, every doctor has the right to make their own treatment plan for you. And that will most likely not include narcotics.

Comment from: F820, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I have degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis, my sciatic had flared up so bad that I didn't have a choice but to have a spinal injection! I hollered and screamed, the epidural steroid injection was excruciating! The pain doctor stated that he didn't know why I had so much pain. I'm in so much pain that, I can't even bear a hug. I just hurt!

Comment from: Sick & Tired, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I got horrible constant excruciating headaches and multiple heavy nose bleeds (I never get headaches and certainly not nose bleeds). Also, my blood pressure was 153/93 (usually around 120/70 while taking lisinopril). The pain clinic doctor told me it was from 'the holiday blues' and certainly not from the epidural steroid injection I received! Are you kidding me! She also told me that she was not going to put this information in my medical records because the insurance company would refuse to pay for more treatments!

Comment from: Kykky , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 24

The doctor hit a nerve and the whole area burns and felt as if it was on fire. I wish I had never had this epidural steroid injection done, they really didn't give me a choice and scheduled making it seem as if it's no big deal. The doctors made it seem as if I didn't go through much, and I wasn't willing to get better, although I'm going to physical therapy 2 times a week. That helps much more, I will never again do injections. They made me feel like a cash cow and were so busy and rushed with the entire process and did not care that I was crying in pain.


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Comment from: Neveragain, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 24

I had an epidural steroid injection today for herniated discs due to an accident a month ago. During the procedure I flinched and the doctor hit a nerve. I felt like the neck and arm were on fire, I was crying and was told next time I'd be given more sedation. I was having a panic attack before. I've been in horrible pain since I got this injection today, it is 02:26, I am up due to the pain and my medication is not working on this pain. They pushed these injections and didn't really give me a choice about having it. Be careful.

Comment from: Trudy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 20

After my epidural injection I experienced muscles spasms all over my body, weakness in both legs, and arm pain. I called the doctor and he said I maybe having allergic reaction to the steroids. I will not ever do this again, very depressing.

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

I was given an epidural steroid injection in 2014, which later caused itching to my hands, arms, body, legs and feet. I was prescribed some cream by my primary doctor for the itching, which didn't work. I bought Cortizone 10 which stopped the itching; however, I later broke out in these dots that would break open and leave dark scars mainly on my upper back (injection area first), arms, chest and face. It's 2018, and I still break out on my chest from time to time. No itching. Just break outs.

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

I am 3 weeks post treatment with epidural steroid injection. I have severe muscle spasms body wide, blinding headaches and extreme aggression. The doctor diagnosis was an allergic reaction! This has been terrible. Nothing seems to relieve the symptoms.

Comment from: Gloria, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 06

A week ago I had my first epidural prednisone shot, and my whole spine is a mess. Two days after, I started experiencing urinary tract infection. I went to see my primary doctor, and she asked me how I got it. I said I didn't know, it's the first time that I got something like this. I'm wondering if it's a side effect from the epidural steroid injection. Now I'm on antibiotics.

Comment from: Kai, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 01

I just had an epidural steroid injection in my back 4 and 5 lumbar. Post 24 hours I have been experiencing excruciating pain at back of my neck across the collarbones, shoulders, and under arm pits only when I sit or stand. When I lie down it goes away. And I can't cough as it hurts my throat and neck. I hope it will wear off, it has been 48 hours after the injection. I am seeing my doctor later.

Comment from: hg, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I had caudal epidural steroid injection on 2/10/18, rested for 2 days and on the 3rd felt great. I was able to walk further and with less pain. By the 4th day I was stiff, and then the pain kicked in. Sciatica came back with full force. I couldn't stand for long, walking was extremely hard, can't sit upright and still no improvement 4 weeks later. I now wish I hadn't had it.

Comment from: Justin, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

I had an epidural steroid injection on Monday, it is now Friday. I have been in so much pain in my lower back and leg and foot that I was at the emergency room last night and thought I was going to be going into emergency surgery. I had an MRI and they said it looked normal. It makes no sense that I'm in this degree of pain. When I was lying on the table for the injection it was a relentless attack of stabbing and pounding on my spine that when it was all done first thing I did was check to see if I was paralyzed.

Comment from: Lily, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 23

I had my first epidural steroid injection in L5 - S1 on October 18, 2018. I did feel a slight pain near the injection site but it wasn't overwhelming. I had indigestion which I never get. It's been 2 days and I'm having severe diarrhea.

Comment from: Pam, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 01

I had my 1st epidural steroid injection in L5 S1 and was sick with abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea for 1 week. I had my second one in the same location and it's been 3 weeks, I can't eat without getting nauseated, I'm constipated and always have heart burn with occasional vomiting. My belly is distended. I wonder if it is the steroid or if it is a nerve problem causing bowel disorder. I am supposed to have another, but my back pain is nothing compared to this abdominal pain.


Nearly everyone has low back pain at some time during their life. See Answer
Comment from: Amanda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 28

It was sore at the time of the epidural steroid injection and I had to ice it afterwards for 4 hours, just the additional fluid was pressure. Today I'm just tired, I coughed without having to grab my back first. Whether this will last I don't know, but 1 day without back pain is a blessing. I have had 3 other needless specific to root nerve and back surgery. They helped but I was still in pain.

Comment from: Bee-Rag, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 24

I receive L5 S1 epidural steroid injections for pain. Post shots, about day 3, I start having awful leg cramps on both legs. One night it seems it is my calves' turn. Last night at the same exact time I had lower hamstring cramps so bad my loud scream woke me as my legs were cramping up. I honestly thought I was dying for about 1 minute. I see my pain doctor next week and will report this as the shot helps some so I'm not sure I want to stop the injections. I'm eating bananas and raisins today to see if this helps tonight.

Comment from: Debra Biggs , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

Yes, I did experience complications from my epidural steroid injection. My last one was in November 2017 and I could not walk for 3 days. Now my legs feel heavy, hips, buttocks, heels, legs and back hurt all the time. I had headaches for months, headaches are getting better after seven months. No injections now, so the doctor cut medicines, six months later he cut medicines again, then I got a call the same day telling I need to find another doctor, and I know it's because of not getting the injections. But he sent me to a surgeon and he said no more injections as they were not doing me any good.

Comment from: JAS 41, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 19

I had 2 epidural steroid injections for pain in my right hip. That pain subsided but I now have continued pain in the lower lumbar spine. The second epidural was 4 weeks ago. I am in more pain than before the epidurals. Physical therapy was recommended. I hope to start this week. Very depressed and angry with the doctors.

Comment from: Anonymousaddy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

I had a cortisone epidural shot in my lumbosacral joint on July 25th. I have had flushing, fever, hot flashes, frequent urination, migraines, and body aches all over. Primary medical doctor called it an allergic reaction and told me to take Benadryl. After that didn't work I was referred to the urologist, gynecologist, endocrinologist, rheumatologist, neurologist, and general physician. The only thing they came up with is that the shot flared up my fibromyalgia. This feels different from fibromyalgia; 7 weeks later I still have massive back and bilateral leg pain and nothing helps.

Comment from: Handcap now, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

For 6 months I have been experiencing a burning sensation in my feet, shins and heels, they say from two slipped discs. I had sciatica pain as well. The first lumbar epidural steroid injection took away the pain from sciatica but then gave me severe back pain. Two weeks later got two more cortisone shots for my feet. My feet are still burning and tingling and I have more back pain 3 days later. No more shots for me, they simply are not working.

Comment from: Band on Mike, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 10

I had severe foot, calf and hamstring cramps at night after my epidural steroid injection.

Comment from: Shaman, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 07

As the doctor was giving me the epidural steroid injection I got hot, sweaty, dizzy and almost passed out. After I left the hospital I had a stomach ache and my kidneys hurt too. It also feels like someone kicked my groin. This is the first epidural I ever had for lumbar radiculopathy.

Comment from: RLong98, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 05

I was given c-spine epidural injection of dexamethasone, propofol (no benzodiazepine), and I assume lidocaine of some sort. Morning after it felt like bleach was injected into my brain. I was shaking and weak. Emergency room CT scan and bloodwork reported clear. Each month the symptoms and pain increased to the point of feeling like I have multiple sclerosis. I now can't sleep. My body has tremors. I have head pressure and my left eye is blurry. I have occipital pressure more than pain. My legs feel weak. Despair is all I feel.

Comment from: Petloverlady, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: September 05

I never had pain before the epidural steroid injection, it was just off balance walking with spinal stenosis. They said it would help so I got the injection one month ago and have been in extreme pain ever since. My balance is much worse, the pain never stops, and the depression has been unbearable. I am wondering if I'll ever be able to walk again.

Comment from: Vickie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

I've had a headache for the last 20 days. It occurred after having an epidural steroid injection in my lower back. The pain in my back is even worse. My primary care doctor put me on steroids but it did no good.

Comment from: Donna, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I had severe acid reflux for 3 weeks after my epidural steroid injection. Taking 40 mg of Prilosec and 12 antacids a day barely helped. I had a fairly bad diarrhea for 6 days, dizziness and hot flashes for 4 weeks. I would wake up shaking for about 3 weeks but not every day. Something to do with blood sugar, maybe. The pain in my neck subsided and then got worse again. Then suddenly 90 percent of the pain went away. I would do it again but it was pretty miserable for a month.

Comment from: Jill C, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 24

I am bloated, I am in more pain and my right arm is worse than when I started. I have no motor skills at all, also I am moving my bowels 5 times a day. I feel pregnant and it has only been 9 days since my epidural steroid injection. This is terribly painful and uncomfortable.

Comment from: Still in pain, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I received epidural steroid injections in my back for neck pain. Since the last injection I get severe chest pains and whole chest locks up. It scares me when it happens, I am worried if there is nerve damage to my chest nerves. These chest pains started after the last injection.

Comment from: Smokey, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 21

It has been a month since my epidural steroid injection for my neck and I have experienced a bowel problem since. I am not being able to have a bowel movement on a regular schedule, it takes 3 to 4 days before my bowel movement happens.

Comment from: Sandy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I had an epidural steroid injection 6 weeks ago and I am in lots of pain again! It is worse because this time it also hurts where they gave the injection, my right leg goes out; like literally goes out!

Comment from: Jasmine BB, 25-34 (Patient) Published: August 17

After my epidural steroid injection I've experienced long term pain in my back, and the right side of my neck. I've also experienced migraines (throbbing), and sometimes problems with my vision.

Comment from: Jane, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I had epidural steroid injections 2 weeks ago. I have low back, hips, and leg pain and numbness in both feet! I've called the office 3 times in 2 days, still waiting in horrible pain. So very tired of this! I went 10 years with a great doctor, now he is gone, and I am sick of being harassed by DEA (drug enforcement administration), and any and all the paperwork he had to do to write a prescription. The new doctor is not helping at all. The government needs to leave the doctors alone.

Comment from: Lotty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I had a caudal epidural steroid injection into the L4 L5 S1 area for a disc leak with stenosis, and spondylosis stage 1. I had to have 16 weeks off work due to inflammation, extreme pain and left leg swelling. I have had to go for an out-of-hospital procedure, my job is at risk now because I had 16 weeks off.

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

I have had numerous issues which were dealt with, with epidural steroid injections. For wrist tendonitis I had 2 shots. L4 L5 herniated disc, I had series of 3 shots, 3 weeks apart. C6 bulging disk, I had neck injections, series of 3, three weeks apart. Most recently for right hip I had 2 shots 1 month apart. I am scheduled for another C6 series after 12 years. I have never had side effects other than basic after shot soreness. This last hip injection has caused a severe headache and nausea for 24 plus hours. Now I understand! Horrible!

Comment from: Rick, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 13

After my epidural steroid injection my leg was on fire. I have never felt pain like that, and it lasted all night. It was terrible! Never again. Last pain doctor would not give me another for that reason.

Comment from: Lane S, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I had an epidural steroid injection to L4 and L5 (with conscious sedation) almost 2 weeks ago. My issue was related to left leg pain and loss of function of toes due to nerve damage. The nerves constantly fire and tingle in my leg/ankle area. It is life altering. I am currently on 2700 mg of gabapentin a day. I do have multiple sclerosis (MS) but my nerve damage at L4 and L5 is not due to the MS. I have not seen any relief from the epidural. In fact my back hurts now. I am so frustrated. The pain is worse.

Comment from: Jean, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I have had very painful and locking cramps resulting from epidural steroid injections in my lower spine. I get these cramps every night limiting the amount of sleep. I do use Theraworx but it is effective for a few hours to none.

Comment from: Nancyo28, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 24

I had a headache for 3 days after I had a cervical epidural steroid injection. I also had increased pain during those 3 days and, in fact, my whole back hurt. My pain gradually got better but it took 3 injections for me. Overall my pain was relieved about 60 percent. Worth it.

Comment from: Sandyslam , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 20

Two months ago I had an epidural on the right side of my neck which has caused excruciating pain and weakness of my arm. I have had this shot before but this time, since I didn't go under, I screamed and knew immediately he did something wrong. I was dizzy for more than two hours and never had this problem. I was to given OxyContin that doesn't do anything so I don't take. I wish all of you a pain free time soon. I just went to an orthopedic doctor who suggested physical therapy.

Comment from: Nurse 49 , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 17

I had the epidural steroid injection on Friday afternoon, that is, yesterday afternoon. About 24 hours after I was feeling super good. I started feeling a little gassy since about 8 Saturday evening, and I have had continuous, and I do mean continuous, diarrhea. I wonder if this diarrhea ever goes away. My pain right now is back in my right side.

Comment from: Judy, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 13

My husband received a 3rd epidural steroid injection; the 1st 2 were very effective. The third time, just 5 days ago, was horrible, and he said the injection was extremely painful. He has a very sharp pain that radiates down his leg. He can't do anything without it causing pain. He was seen again yesterday and placed on a 6 day prednisone pack. He ices the area frequently and plans to start using an inversion table. He is very worried.

Comment from: Judy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

I just had the last of my 3 epidural steroid injections in my neck. Since returning home my chest feels heavy and my stomach is bloated and painful.

Comment from: Annie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 11

After the epidural steroid injection, months later I felt very sick and dizzy. Now I have numbness in left side neck, left arm, and chest, below belly button, left leg and foot, and my back, even my buttocks. I hope it will go away. I have weakness in my body.

Comment from: wheresenergy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 11

I have 2 cervical discs degenerating, one above and one below an old fusion at C 5 and C6. I had an epidural steroid injection about 2 years ago and it did a great job. Just had another one today, and I feel so tired and heavy it's just a chore to get off the bed. This time I'm officially diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I don't know if that has anything to do with how I've reacted to the epidural. I am on Plaquenil but had to get off Mobic as it caused diverticulosis. Perhaps there is a connection.

Comment from: Danielle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I had the L5 S1 epidural steroid injection. After the first injection I woke up the next day with a bad headache and flushing in the face. I also had severe acid reflux which led to vomiting later, on the second day. After my second shot, the day after, I once again experienced a headache, flushing, and light reflux. It normally goes away by day 3.

Comment from: Ashok kumar, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 09

I had undergone the treatment of epidural block at L5 in my spine to get relief from severe back and right leg pain. After 8 days of taken the epidural steroid injection, I am having severe pain with numbness and continuous tingling in my leg and foot. I think it has happened due to deeply injected needles. I am in depression and worry what will happen now.

Comment from: Jackie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 31

I had epidural steroid injections in my back on December 20, January 26 and March 2nd. They seemed to help a little. I had no side effects until about a 2 weeks after the last one on March 2nd. I had extreme bursitis in the bursa on the side of my hips or legs in both. I've never had this before. It lasted about 3 weeks. Since then I have had charley horse cramping in the back of my thighs or in my hamstrings. Sometimes down my left leg I have creepy crawly sensations like ants crawling on my ankle and foot. I haven't complained to my orthopedist as I'm sure he would say I was nuts. I never had back problems until I had right total knee replacement 3 years ago. He looks at me like I am nuts when I ask if it could be because of my gait changing. He's a genius surgeon as I had absolutely no pain after knee replacement and walked 3 miles at 15:00 pace 3 weeks later. So, you can tell I'm not a complainer. I push myself to walk one mile now. Very frustrating!

Comment from: Tooyoungtobeinsomuch, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I recently had cervical epidural steroid injection after having an ablation on my neck that did not work! Since having this, I now have numbness on the right side of my neck, and a burning tingling pain. The pain has not gone away!

Comment from: Yon58, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 15

I have severe bowel incontinence after my epidural steroid injection.

Comment from: dandd2007, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 15

I had my last epidural steroid injection for my neck a few months ago. I always get sedated. I told the doctor when they gave me the sedation that it didn't work. He said he could do nothing about it and proceeded to put the needle in my back. He yelled at me when I moved a little because it hurt so badly and he wouldn't stop. Since then my three middle toes on my left foot get the tingling now they keep going numb.

Comment from: MrsFinkle, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

I had a steroid epidural injection 3 weeks ago tomorrow. I was amazed at how quickly it worked with my pain. I have two midline herniated discs at L4, L5 and L5, S1. She did the injection at The L4, L5 disc because it was the worst one. I feel amazing. However the side effects I'm feeling are going to get me to give her a call. For the first week after the injection, I had bladder incontinence. Even after I would just stand up from using the bathroom, not 30 seconds later I was urinating again without warning. So that was a week of bladder control pads until it subsided. Four days after the injection I noticed I was getting terrible indigestion. When it first happened I figured I ate too late at night before going to bed which is something I've been working on and will get heartburn in the middle of the night if I do that. But the next few days it got worse and I was having symptoms of either gallstones or pancreatitis. Those symptoms got worse over the weekend but I didn't want to go to the emergency room so I waited until Monday morning to call my doctor but come the morning the pain had almost gone away. Now I am experiencing more indigestion and bloating and flatulence as well. I am currently living on Pepto-Bismol. I do think it's time to contact the doctor. I keep telling myself that no matter the discomfort and aggravation of these possible side effects of the injection, the injection did work and I am moving around in a way I haven't been able to in almost a year. So basically if the side effects are something that I can live with and take over the counter medications for, I can only be thankful for the good that has come of getting the injection. I have a 3 year old girl that is happy having mommy play with her.

Comment from: lrich, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I've had many low back epidural steroid injections over the last 20 years with no side effects, except once with headaches that lasted for months. This time I had four cervical injections. The first day I slept a lot due to the IV sedation. The next two days I felt unusually exhausted and barely able to function normally. On the fourth day I became extremely ill; diarrhea in the day, very nauseous and vomiting through the night. I could not eat for two days and felt too sick to get out of bed. I also have some reflux now which I'm prone to but was not having prior to the injections. I finally slept last night and have awoken feeling much more human but digestive issues continue. Given how horrendous I felt I will not do injections again. My physiatrist who did the injections thinks it was adrenal suppression.

Comment from: Windjammer , 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 04

I just had number epidural steroid injection 45. I have experienced numbing of my arms and legs, and always get leg cramps. Now I have jumping leg, cramps, and muscle spasms. I had my last injection 4/23/18 and the side effects are getting worse with every shot. But I cannot do without the shots. I'm retired now, the last eight years have been a struggle with pain every day.

Comment from: Marie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

Almost immediately after my epidural steroid injection my left leg went numb. I also got a hernia, a urinary tract infection and spent my holidays in and out of the emergency room! Never again!

Comment from: jackie, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 04

Two weeks after my epidural steroid injection I became very sick and had to be admitted to the hospital for 8 days with sepsis. I am now on IV antibiotics for 6 weeks from home. The bad bacteria had entered through the injection site and began to take over in my body. The doctor said this is a rare complication. I wish I had known this can happen because I am now much worse and would never have done the procedure. People need to know about this!

Comment from: Elizabeth , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I was involved in a rear end auto accident and developed two herniated discs in the lower back, I believe L5 area. I received two epidural steroid shots. I developed side effects second day after the shot. I had urine incontinence, numbness in the left leg down to my toes, low fever, dizziness, headache, loss of appetite, and imbalance on my left side when I stand up. The doctors checked me for cauda equina syndrome and determined I didn't have it. They sent me to a urologist and neither doctor understands why I have this. I am still being evaluated to try to figure out why this is happening.

Comment from: rsw, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 13

After reading some of these comments on epidural steroid injections I just had to share my positive ones. I've been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and bulging disc. Sciatic nerve pain prevented me from walking more than about 100 feet and I could not stand in one place for more than a minute. I had an epidural steroid injection January 15 in the L4 region. I felt great for two days then on the 3rd morning in bed, with pain level 6 in the sciatic nerve down left leg from hip to toes. Couple of hours later the pain was gone. It took about 10 days to be completely pain free at any time and after nearly 2 months I could do a jig if I knew how. Now I am planning a vacation which I'd put on hold. The doctor has told me I might have to have another injection later on or maybe never need another. I have an appointment in May with spinal experts to discuss further alternatives. And unlike some of the reviews, no IV, procedure under x-ray and after the procedure I sat in waiting room for about 20 minutes and then on my way, with a driver (wife) of course.

Comment from: sherry, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I had a C4 spinal injection and major headaches after. I had no emergency contact for surgeon and this went on for weeks. Headaches like I have never had! They want me to do another epidural steroid injection at this point and I am scared.

Comment from: Ingrid Schaffer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I had an epidural cortisone injection into my facet joints on L1 and L2. I am experiencing terrible light headedness. My general physician says my blood pressure is very low and I have an ongoing headache.

Comment from: Beriaha, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I started getting epidural steroid injections in May 2017. The first was a nerve block to my knee (3 shots), worked great, then the next week an epidural to the right lumbar, next week to the left lumbar, and next week to my neck. Two weeks after the first set of shots I started itching severely, and nothing would help. I went to the emergency room, they gave me prednisone and sent me home. On my way home I stopped at my family doctor, and he gave me a shot of Decadron. The next day the itching started to subside, then disappeared, until another epidural! I finally figured I'm allergic to them, so now I don't know what else I can do for the pain!

Comment from: Jan R. A., 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 07

I had a spinal fusion 6 years ago and have had trouble with recurrent sciatica down one leg. I have had several Kenalog injections for this treatment and have had terrible night leg cramps after each. My last epidural steroid injection was 4 days ago and now I am with horrible leg cramps and pain. The up side is my sciatica pain has improved but the side effects are not fun. Also with stomach pain, bloating, and generally not feeling well. Hopefully, I can remember all of this in a year or two when my doctor suggests another injection. I don't know if age makes a difference, I am very healthy and nearly 70.

Comment from: mom0106, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 11

My 19 year old son had steroid epidural injection L5 - S1 3 weeks ago. He immediately felt ill, nauseous, dizzy, and had warm flushing, lower blood pressure, and fatigue. Three days later he still has severe fatigue, and after a 2 hour nap numbness in the right side of face and arm; lasted a few minutes. The orthopedic doctor sent him to the emergency room. Blood, CT, and MRI are normal, and he was observed overnight. He just had an entire spine MRI with contrast repeated; normal. He is still having occasional slight fatigue, trembling in arms and legs when flexing muscles, and muscle weakness. Orthopedist, neurologist, chiropractor and physician have no clue. And he still has spine discomfort from original disc bulge.

Comment from: degendisc, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I had my second lumbar epidural steroid injection 2 weeks ago. On day 3 I developed a rash and severe itching on my lower back, stomach, top of legs and armpits. I am also having hot and cold flashes. No resolution from the doctor who ordered the injection. I was advised to see my family doctor. I am miserable and frustrated. I will not ever take anymore cortisone.

Comment from: BBurn, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 03

I had a cervical spinal epidural (first one ever) with anesthesia in the C7, T1 area of spine five days ago. It was a slow release steroid. I took following day off work to rest and returned to work for next 2 days. It seemed okay back at work. Then 4 days after shot, on the weekend, I felt dizziness, congestion, cough, heaviness and weight in chest with somewhat labored breathing. Just a general feeling of not feeling well. No headache or fever. I had appetite and bowels seemed fine. I had achy neck, lower back, dizziness, sleepless fatigue. I am going to urgent care physician today to review my symptoms as I am concerned of a possible allergic reaction to the chemicals in the injection.

Comment from: Coqui, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I developed urinary incontinence and bowel incontinence after my epidural steroid injection. I had MRI twice and after a week was ok.

Comment from: caregiver, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 15

Google dark side of epidural steroid injection. I have suffered severe pain above my original pain since the shot and way more symptoms. Stop getting the shots in my opinion. I will not have any more.

Comment from: Dee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I had my epidural steroid injection done a week ago. I did not start to experience any relief in my lumbar region until yesterday. The only issue I have now since the shot is kind of a heaviness in my chest and a cough. I know it is from the shot because I did not have this issue until I got the shot. I thought at first that it was a bad heart burn but after a couple of days realized it was attributed to the shot. It is a little better as time has gone by but it still lingers and bothers me. Otherwise, my leg pain is much better. I still have the back pain but I think it is also a little better.

Comment from: richie, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 11

I have been receiving epidural steroid injections for the last 4 years, usually 3 shots per year and on one occasion 4. I would say that usually the shots have helped my stenosis 70 percent and on other times I felt worse 30 percent of the time. The longest I have gone with significantly less pain was 9 or 10 months. I do have a history of balance problems, and falling which does not help my situation. I have been to some of the best orthopedic and neurosurgeons, without much results as to surgery solutions. I do not want spinal fusion as it leads to more problems within a very short period of time. I have to say I really do not know the answer to rid myself of this constant painful condition!

Comment from: Penny R., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

After I got home after an epidural steroid injection, I started to have leg spasm and cramps. I also had a major headache which lasted a few hours; I had the lower back epidural. I feel fine now, just sore.

Comment from: shirlgirl, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 25

I have had 15 epidural steroid injections for lower back within a 1 year period; 7 at one facility and 8 at another. Everything I have read says there should be no more than 2 to 3 per six months. I have also developed several problems I feel are due to overdosing; swollen feet, ankles and lower legs, muscle loss, weight gain, skin rashes, loss of balance and light headedness, just to name a few. Some are long term.

Comment from: steve, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 23

I have severe neck pain and slight headache 1 month after epidural steroid injection for back pain and sciatica.

Comment from: cowgirl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 15

I had a cervical epidural injection in my neck on May 7th, 2015. On May 8th my head started having a humming loud tone. It is May 14th and my head still has a humming loud tone and my blood pressure is higher than normal. Doctor said on Monday the 11th of May that it will subside in 72 hours. Well, it is past 72 hours and this morning I woke up with a red eye and a sticky substance in the corner of it. I have no headache but pain shoots through once in a while by my ear, I just feel fatigue and the loud noise is driving me crazy. Sure hope the doctor is right that this will subside.

Comment from: I'm still standing, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

I have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, sciatica, and disc degeneration. I had my first lumbar epidural steroid injection about 8 weeks ago under light sedative, and was in recovery for about 45 minutes. I had a little weakness in right leg but recovered and was sent home. After a couple of days the pain came back. I went to see the doctor for follow-up and I told the doctor the injection did nothing for me so he tells me it usually takes several shots to take effect. So a second injection was given six weeks later. I had it done without sedation because the first injections was painless. This was not the case for the second injection. When the doctor put in the needle for the numbing medication I told him it was very painful and he told me not to worry as he would administer more numbing medicines. I was still in pain, lying on my stomach hoping that he would finish. He finally finished and then the nurse helped me up to sitting position, and that was when I felt the most excruciating pain from my right hip down the right groin down the thigh and leg to the foot. I could not lift my right leg or bend it without that awful pain that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. The doctor kept me in recovery for about two hour, but no improvement. I was then taken from the clinic by an ambulance to emergency in hospital where I was given pain medicines. I had an MRI done, which came back normal. After three days in hospital I was discharged home. I no longer have the excruciating pain in my leg but I have very limited mobility to right leg. I really feel as if going into the doctor's office I already had nerve damage, but I left with even more nerve damage.

Comment from: Low back pain 2, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I had no complications from the epidural steroid injection, but the doctor stuck at my L-5 as well by accident.

Comment from: Gwen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I had an epidural steroid injection in my lower back on 6/1/2018 and now today 6/2/2018 my stomach is cramping very badly and I can only pass a small amount of stool.

Comment from: Lee, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 18

I had a flushing face, sinus type infection symptoms, and fogginess after my epidural steroid injection.

Comment from: Jin, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

After my spinal epidural steroid injection now I have severe shakes on my left side and the pain has increased by a hundred percent, it did not get any better. I think the doctor was selling me a bill of goods that did not work and I believe he knew this.

Comment from: MissyA, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

I had about 3 epidurals years ago, and they helped for a while, and no side effects except for a bad headache for days. But I am getting ready to start with them again and they have changed a lot since I had them back in 2000. I was put to sleep for mine. So I am a bit nervous. And I have had the spinal fusion done, which gave me nearly 12 years of pure relief and almost a normal life, except having to watch what I lifted, etc. If this new course of epidurals do not work, it is back for another fusion for me.

Comment from: Sandbar, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 21

My husband has Addison's disease and inclusion body myosotis after having a series of epidural spine injections. He now has a life changing disability involving degenerative muscle disease as well as adrenal insufficiency.

Comment from: Debra Boggs , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 20

Doctor says it's his plan, I can't get pain medicine unless we get epidural steroid injections so November 2017 I had my last. I was so done I could not walk for 30 minutes or longer, I made it home but it was hard for me to walk. For a few days my pain had increased, I urinate on myself sometimes not knowing when I got to go urinate, and I get headaches all the time. A year late the doctor let me go after a surgeon told me no more injections, so now I am looking for another doctor. I have more pain than ever and I urinate every two hours, I need help.

Comment from: Rodney D, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 25

I received two epidural steroid shots to my lower back within a two month period. I wonder if that would have damaged the nerves to my buttocks and legs.

Comment from: Lay it on the line, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 23

In all, after hearing these testimonials I have concluded that these epidural steroid injections mask the pain and divert it to other areas of the body (especially to the outer extremities) and convert the pain into numbness and tingling. Therefore if this is the case with you as is with the above testimonials then it's a clear choice to opt for surgery since all else has failed.

Comment from: Helen100768, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I haven't yet had my epidural steroid injections. I'm in pain 24/7, finally saw a pain specialist yesterday and he's sure he can improve my quality of life. The plan is to do 3 injections in my left side of back where it is greater but will need other side done at a later date. I'm now worrying if maybe what I was thinking is my last hope to improve things is worth the risk.

Comment from: NV, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 20

I have had epidural steroid and lumbar shots, I still don't feel any better. I just hate my life and want to cry all the time. I used to be so active, walk, did my first run 5k, and was so proud. I still had pain back then but I can't figure out why they can't find out what's wrong with me. The 1st doctor told me I had a torn meniscus and this will fix my pain; nope. The 2nd orthopedist gave medicine pack and other things to try and MRI, and said there was another torn meniscus; within 1 year? Another knee surgery and oops, sorry it wasn't; we scraped it. Had back surgery in March 18 and still in agony!

Comment from: Kathryn, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 20

I wonder if one can have loss of ability to reach orgasm during sex after an epidural steroid injection.

Comment from: Mrs. Sore neck, Female (Patient) Published: November 04

I had redness, bumps, and an itching rash. There was also about a 10-inch diameter area around injection point which still persisted after two weeks.


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