NFR epidural steroid injection

Jim Speaker

Active Member
I have herniated my L5-S1 multiple times. I've had the injections you're talking about twice, or rather 4x as they were bilateral each time.

A couple days and the swelling comes down. But, that's a remedy intended to get you ON a healing path, not the healing itself. Do physical therapy and build ab strength, it's your best friend.

I know the urge to fish... I was laid up for three months with my worst reinjury, but, from experience I urge you be careful and ease back in slow.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Lying on the floor & doing tricep extensions regularly helps too; keeps the erectors in your back toned & balanced which aids in keeping your alignment right (AFTER you've healed, however.). That and toned abs as stated work wonders.


Active Member
I wish you luck---my wife ended up paralyzed for a couple of weeks following this procedure for some problems in the upper thoracic region of the back.

After some time (2-weeks) in the UW medical center she was able to regain some of her movement again. It was a very slow process. She ultimately had a complex surgery and the installation of a pain pump which has made it possible to live an 80% normal life.

The best advice I can give you is buy the book treat your own back by Robin McKenzie (short paper back) and if that type of exercise approach does not work, see a competent surgeon and have the disk trimed, synthetic replacement or the vertabrae fused. The lower back is much easier to repair than the upper back/neck.

One of my friends had his lower back done and six weeks later asked the surgeon if he could go on a little hike. After receiving permission Gary took a two day trip to the top of mount adams. The surgeon was not happy when he learned what Gary described as a "little hike". But he has done very well since and continues to kayack and mountain climb.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Just had one for my low back lumbar region yesterday how long does it take to work, be nice to get out again, Shits to get old
I know it does suck to be old. But you seem to have all the problems of the world wrong with you. If i didn't have my knees screwed up I'd be in perfect health. For a man that is 78. I get up in the morning I can only hobble to the can. I wish I could walk good but that's not going to happen in this life.

Big E

Active Member
Your results may vary. I've had some where I have had pain relief the next the point where you feel no pain and want to climb that mountain. Then there has been other times when I didn't get much pain relief or even felt worse. Seems that every time I get them, its a roll of the dice as to how / when it will work.

Greg Armstrong

I've had two steroid injections in my lower spine (two extruded discs-skiing related accident). Doc' says if there's a 3rd one it's time to call in the guys with scalpels and it's surgery time.
After the first injection I felt way better in a day. After the 2nd it took a week or so.
It takes 15 to 18 months for your discs to repair themselves as best as they'll get given the injury.
Don't re-injure them in the interim - you'll be starting all over!


Ignored Member
I have two completely collaspsed disks, one bulging and another that is beginning to bulge. You should see my MRI. My doctor asked me how I dealt with the pain and I had to say I just do it. Apparently my worst enemy has been myself and a high tolerance for pain. No injections to date but I am medicating with Daypro which only seems to increase my pain tolorance. Likely not a good thing. Surgery is my next option.


Active Member
There are two types of nerves that exit the spine. Sensory (pain) and motor (muscular). Fortunately the sensory nerves are more sensitive to pressure so they are the early warning system. When the motor nerves are badly effected, surgery is mandatory. So monitor yourself for muscle weakness.
Extruded disks do NOT repair themselves. The extruded disks causes pressure on the nerve roots. The pressure causes inflammation and swelling. This irritation of the nerve roots causes pain.

The inflammation causes swelling of the nerve roots which then causes more pressure on the nerve roots and more pain. What the steroid injections do is to calm the inflammation of the nerve roots.

If the steroid injects can reduce the inflammation enough to get rid of the pain, I would delay any surgery as long as the injections keep working.

Usually what is done with surgery is remove the lamina of the vertebrae to fuse the two vertebrae together. This relieves the pressure but destabilizes the spine so a fusion is done to bridge the lamina defect. This means that the joint can no longer flex, and this place more pressure on the disks above and below the fusion. So then these can break down.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
My pain in my knees never goes away to stay. I take Naproxen instead of Alieve(sp) to ease the pain somewhat. It works just as long as I don't over do it. Like just sit on my ass and type on this computer. I was going to go fishing but I need my rest. After all I'm an old man.
I know it does suck to be old. But you seem to have all the problems of the world wrong with you. If i didn't have my knees screwed up I'd be in perfect health. For a man that is 78. I get up in the morning I can only hobble to the can. I wish I could walk good but that's not going to happen in this life.
Yep Jim I've been pricked, poked. and prodded for the last two years. Just glad they use barbless needles :)


Not to be confused with Freestone
Bummer...hope you're well soon...back trouble is no fun. My only experience with steroid shots was for my left shoulder (thank God not my right). About 7 years ago, I did something (lifting heavy stuff out of a truck bed I think) and couldn't raise my arm beyond horizontal or sleep comfortably for a week. It was like having a constant toothache -- miserable. X-ray showed calcified deposits on tendon going through the socket -- supposedly the worst joint on the body as the tendon goes through a couple small passages and makes 90 degree turns. Doc said to try a c-shot and by the time I drove home, about 15 minutes, I was feeling relief. By bedtime, I was raising my arm almost to vertical and slept fine. The next day it was as if I'd never had the pain and it's never returned (hope this post didn't just do me in).

We often hear the words "wonders of modern medicine"... that one made a believer out of me. Hopefully you get like results.