Health Personal

My Experience with Epidural Spinal Injections

I’ve been having back problems for as long as I can think back. At 7 years old I was diagnosed with Scoliosis along with herniated disks in the lumbar area (the lower back). I had to wear a shoe lift in my left shoe. Due to scoliosis, my left leg was shorter than the right. Chiropractor visits were weekly to help alleviate discomfort. I always just took it day by day and lived through the pain.

Fast forward 20+ years later, the pain became significantly worse until one day in January my body could no longer take it. I could scarcely walk. My job was becoming impossible to do (which includes a lot of lifting, pulling, and pushing) and the pain was just unbearable. I began having problems driving as I could no longer sit without being in excruciating pain. Lying down gave no relief and standing was just as hard. Nothing was helping. I would just cry from desperation, pain, and even pity.

Finally, today after months of physical therapy, I decided to get Epidural Spinal Injections (ESI) and LET ME TELL YOU…… These suckers hurt! Now, please understand I have gone through a terrible labor experience – this is nothing like that…. in a good way, haha. Labor pain was definitely much worse, however, this is still quite painful. Before the procedure began the doctor numbed the area with lidocaine. I certainly felt that pinch from the needle entering my skin. She, then, inserted a needle into the joint space in my back of which was causing agony. Mine were the sacroiliac joints. That pain was intense, because she hit the nerves a couple of times as the needle was entering. I shrieked and tightened my buttocks a bit, haha, (funny, but not!). As the needle was entering my nerves, her assistant was taking fluoroscopic images (live Xrays) with a C-arm to ensure that she was inserting the needle into the right area. Once she was content with the needle placement, she injected the steroid in.

After the procedure was done, within an hour of being home, the pain was tolerable. It was a pain that was there, but you can almost not feel it (if that makes any sense), probably had a lot to do with the lidocaine still taking effect. Then, 4 hours went by and the pain became a little stronger. 8 hours later, here I am crying! Yes, really, I am crying!! I’m not sure if it’s pain from the injection site, from the nerve being traumatized, my usual back pain worsened now, or perhaps all of the above. Still, the pain has worsened and I am truly hoping for a better tomorrow.

Anyway, If you have had this procedure done before let me know what your experience was like and if you experienced any pain afterward please tell me what helped you.

If you are thinking of getting this done, remember my pain tolerance is probably much lower than yours, so don’t let this discourage you. I am simply sharing my own personal experience with this.

Remember to listen to your body and take care of your back!