Nerve block not working

Hi all, l am new to this site and wondered if any of you have had experience of pain down your legs and had a nerve root block injection

I have a disc bulge at L5/S1 abutting both S1 nerve roots and have been in considerable pain for about 14 months.

On 25th November l had a nerve block procedure carried out at the hospital but the pain is just as bad and frequently keeps me awake at night.

I also have a schwannoma tumour at L3/4 but the consultant has decided not to do a biopsy or operate on it so he wants to watch and wait to see if there are any further symptoms in twelve months.

Regarding the disc bulge l was told that if the nerve block was successful l could have an operation called a decompression, but with the nerve block failure l am not sure where all this is going?

15 Replies

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  • I have the same problem as you my nerve blocks work but only for a short time 6-8 weeks. I have also had radio frequency this is where they zap the nerve this stops the pain traveling down the leg.

    I understand how you feel every time you move in bed you wake up with pain and the last time I had a full nights sleep was April just before the injection wore off, we only have one guy running our pain clinic we used to have 4 just bad management of the hospital

  • Hi, when you say nerve blocks, how many have you had? I was under the impression that because mine offered no relief they would be reluctant to do it again.

  • When we had 4 consultants running the pain clinic we would get 4 nerve blocks a year but now we are lucky to get 2. Mine do work and I get 6-8 weeks sleep I have also had radio frequency for sciatica nerve first time I got 2 years relief from the sciatica before the nerve grew back. They might give you more I just think they did not get it in the right place this can happen

  • Hello, I have suffered the same. The nerve blocks did not work at all for me. I was given a spinal epidural which has worked, unfortunately it seems to have aggravated my arthritis but at present I don't suffer those awful spasms. I am told the epidural can last 4 to 12 months, hopefully it will be at least 12 months. I had to ask if epidurals cause damage to the spine. I was told yes so the long term does not look too good.

    Decided to make the most of life while I can so going to have 3 holidays next year.

    I did try to come off the medication but I was getting pains down my legs so was advised to stay on them. I take one Imipramine at night and that helps me sleep pain free, wonderful.

    Hope you find something that helps the pain.

  • I will certainly look into the epidermal, however l will look into long term damage to my spine before l go ahead.

    Also the hospital had suggested that if the nerve block is successful they might perform a procedure called a decompression but it comes with a risk of nerve damage, it's difficult to know what to do for the best, l wish l could have one day without this pain as l find it so wearing

  • Hi Mike, what medication are you on?

    I am on 2 x Preganin a day, 3 x Baclofen and 1 x Imipramine at night to help sleep. These seem to work very well. But I am worried about taking them forever as to what damage it does to your organs. However at present the pain is good.

    The chance of nerve damage does not sound good.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  • Hi flamenca, l am taking tramadol morning, afternoon and at night before bedtime together with zopiclone (sleeping tablet) however l am also taking steroids for another condition (giant cell arteritis) and regularly wake at 4 am with pain and take another tramadol before getting back to sleep. I am pleased that your pain is good at the moment keep up the good work.

    I have to say that although the meds don't rid me of the pain, at least it goes from unbearable to bearable.

  • Hi I have a lateral bulge to my L4/L5 disc. I had the nerve block/steroid injection on the 25th November and the pain has started again on Christmas Day. I'd hoped to get longer relief. It did work but not for long. Good luck to anybody with back/nerve pain.

  • Same as me, the nerve block didn't do a bit of good so back to pain clinic again, Do you get pains down your legs?

  • Hi Michael, I got pains down my legs, especially when I try to stop the medication. I had to start the meds again and I am ok now. The Consultant said if I want to be pain free I should stay on the meds. I hate the thought of taking medication forever and it would be nice to find something else.

    Sounds like you are on the road for an Epidural.

    Good luck.

  • Hi flamenca, what tablets are you taking? Are they pain killers as mine aren't working.

  • Hi - I am taking a Pregablin 75 mg x 2 a day.

    Baclofen 10mg x 3 a day

    Imipramine 10mg x 1/2 at bedtime

    These tend to be fine. I used to take Gabapentin x 3 times a day but I was disorientated with them so I changed them.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks flamenca l will look up these meds to see if they might help,

    Thanks for your input

  • Hi I have has nerve blocks in my scalp to control trigeminal and occipital neuralgia and found they didn't do much either. Really feel for you.

    Keep positive tho - the pain teams usually always have something up their sleeve.

    Sending hugs

    Lou xx

  • Hi Lou thanks for your support, l do hope that you find a treatment to get rid of the pain it sounds awful.

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