Nerve block ??

Guess I am a rare person . Last Thursday I went to meet the doctor that has taken me on. We had some good conversation he did an exam said I was a wobbly walker and had diminished feeling on the side of my one leg. Severe arthritis in my lower back and L4 and L5 are toast. Severe Stenosis. We decided that we would do another epidural . My back was really giving me a hard go around the week before. I was off work for about 5 days. So the nerve was really irritated. Doctor started the epidural but he had some difficulty getting the needle and while he was trying he kept hitting some VERY sensitive areas. He finally got the needle in the right spot and was putting the medication in when I started to have the worse pain and spasms I have ever had. He had to finish but when he was I could not walk or put any weight on my right leg I sat back down on the gourney and laid there until the spasm and pain gradually went away ( about 45 mins. ) They said that it is very rare for this to happen and nurse said that she has never seen anyone to have a repeat of this. When I talked to the nurse the next day she said that if this did not work they may do a nerve block to see if I will need surgery to release the nerve. Will have to see how it all goes. The ache is better as long as I am not sitting to long. The nerve pain I have is a bit better but not a lot. Just don't know how things are going to go yet, I am a bit scared right now. :-( Has anyone had a nerve block done what can I expect and why was it done.

22 Replies

  • You should never allow those epidurals , just why would you allow it, because it is common knowledge, that putting in needles into areas that are damaged is stupid because you are just causing more damage and more scar tissue around very painful nerve areas.

    Epidurals should be avoided because it is only doctors playing around, because there is very little that can be done and to operate is problematic.

    But it is up to you , but my advice is to build up other muscles to compensate the weaker areas and you have to do it religiously because it is learning how to cope with your condition and the sooner you realise it the better, because there is very little they can do with nerve pressures, and what I have learnt over my thirty year battle and that is avoid going to doctors unless it is to operate as a last resort, because the chances of you ending up worse are very high indeed.

    Once they operate , the battles you will have will only be the same as you are probably going through now, so the quicker you get into a routine that allows you to manage your symptoms and first get good Pain Med's , then work on the muscles and most physio's will show you which muscles to build up, but really you should know yourself because "Pain" ..."Chronic Pain" is a great teacher, but you must listen to your body and learn by trial and error, it is only the effort you put into managing that will help most in the long run, Best Alex

  • People tend to max out on pain meds and in some states it's become increasingly difficult to get them. It's because of the generalization that all people on pain meds become heroin addicts. I'm not sure I agree with that reasoning, since they treat addicts with Methadone which many believe is even more addictive. I've had injections from two different doctors and I think it really depends on the skill of the doctor. I think any treatment of the CNS is always tricky.

  • I can't quite believe that states and often individual consultants still follow this reasoning. It was proven years ago that if you are taking pain medication when in pain then it's very unlikely you will become addicted. The issue is really when people take them for pain and the pain reduces but they stay on them. At this point addiction can occur.

    Though saying that, I know one day I will get sick of the pain meds and just throw them away. I take pain meds for joint pain, so that I can sleep and keep myself active (work and uni) whilst my disease refuses to go into remission.

    Once it's in remission I will be seriously assessing my use. Not because I think I'm addicted or don't need them, but because I'm sick of taking so many medications.


  • Thanks for your reply Alex I appreciate your opinions . I am doing aqua fit as well as walking a lot. May not be quite enough but its what I can do at this moment, as well as working full time. Not making excuses but that is how it is right now. I will be done working in June and then I will be going back to the gym. Your right Chronic Pain is a great teacher but can tell you if I had a choice to sign up for that class or not I would have ignored it like the plague.

    I think all of us deal with this pain the way they can and it is great to read about the ideas everyone has to do this. My wish for you is to have as many pain free days as possible. Have a fantastic day


  • I've never heard of anyone having your reaction to an epidural. I've had nerve blocks in my lumbar region as well as both knees -- they are arthritic and the cartilage is gone from both. My understanding of the purpose of a nerve block is to help manage pain and increase functioning while discouraging the use of opiates, In one knee, I felt as though I had a new knee, but it's temporary.

  • Hi grizzly7168 u need to get u gp to refer u to a pain specialist they can help with getting the right meds for u pain and sending u to the right physio's, best wishes to u and hope everything goes well for u

  • Hi Yogibe I have been going to the pain clinic for about 3 months now. They are the ones who have been doing the facet injections, and epidurals, but thankyou for your suggestions.

  • Do you mean steroid injections when you say nerve blocks ?

    I've had those with varying g degrees of success for varying amounts to of time. I've never had any problems with the procedure.

    I'd agree with Alex that building up the muscles around d the problem areas is important and one tool amount many to help chronic pain. But I've had enough relief from steroid injections to allow me to start work on atrophied muscles.


  • Maybe I am not saying this all right ( sorry :-( ) So far I have had 2 steroid facet joint injections , 2 epidurals into the lumbar spine , one not so bad and the other one was agony. They are talking about a nerve block to use as a diagnostic tool. It needs to be determined if we are around the nerve that is giving me so much grief. If the nerve block stops the pain then we will talk about surgery.

  • Look at Alexander Technique. Won't cure the problem but will help you manage it better. Muscle misbehaviour can cause a lot of pain. Pain killers or nerve blocks will not change this problem and could make it worse.

    will give you some more information as well as letting you find a teacher that is within travelling distance of yourself.

    Another discipline to look at is McTimony chiropractic. I have been treated by a McTimony chiropractor since 1993. Have had this treatment on the NHS since 1994.

    Have a look at yoga. This should be helpful for your condition as well.

    Hope this helps.

  • I am very greatful for your help and suggestions. I will take alook at the information you gave me and see if anyone uses these techniques in Canada and specifically Prince George BC. But I will look for sure.


  • Hi Grizzly

    Nerve blocks work a little but only for 1-6 months. I didn't find the 4 attempts on me very good. As for the exercise mentioned, I definitely agree. You must have strong surrounding muscles to help the weak ones from spasm. Also if you need medication, go for it. Ive been on morphine a good few years now and I'm NOT addicted and I sometimes take very high amounts. I'm in a flare up at the moment and been swigging my oramorph by the bottle and on the slow release tablets. Next week I'll be back down to my normal levels with no withdrawal or side effects. Good luck with your stenosis.

    Sarah xx

  • Hi Sarah. I curious that you think you are not activated to morphine. Has you ever stopped ? I don't think so until I changed from morphine to Fentanyl. The withdrawal was very unpleasant and I had another opiate talk g its place.

    Morphine is addictive. All the opiates are sadly.


  • Iv had 4 epidurals in 6 months , the last one I had sent my heart into shock and had to stay in hospital for all types of heart tests , for 8 days I was monitered hourly, they put it down to hitting a blood vessel having the epidural , on 3rd of June I'm due to have a diagnostic nerve branch block , if this is successful I will then have a Rycectomy , I will let you know how it goes , sounds like the same thing your having done . Take care Terri . I'm also worried .😳

  • Yes please let me know how things are going for you. You are right what you are going through is what I am going through right now. Take care of yourself and thankyou :-)

  • Absolutely, do not bother, it's a waste of time, and in my opinion, makes matters worse than ever! (Sorry!) Kind regards Esined! x

    Oh, I forgot to say, I have a reaction also to any anethstetic which is.........swearing profusely, words which to be honest I never even new existed! Non controllable and very very embarrassing to say the least! (lol!)

  • Yes I have it done every 8-10 months. Going in on June 1st mine is in the groin all I can do is tell you my experience. It depends who does it. Normally I have short discomfort whilst it's going in I then only get 2 weeks relief. However last time someone else did it. It took much longer and was very painful BUT worth it as the relief lasted about 2 months. So if offered take it. Some relief is better than none.

  • I have had these nerve blocks for several years they should last for 3 months but mine only last 6-8 weeks good luck

  • Can only offer my concern and best wishes I had my lower back operated on after a parachute jump gone wrong. I had nearly a year of physio and painkillers before I gave in and was operated on.. For me, I felt like a new man it was incredible the pressure taken off the nerves, no pain and all sciatica gone. Now with fibro there are too many joint problems to make injections viable. I am on MST slow release morphine tablets twice daily. I also have oramorph for back up as Sarah says above. I can go a week without thinking of using it then have a lock up day and it gets me out of bed and moving about sometimes just numbs the pain enough to make it bearable. I also take insulin for my diabeties. I am dependent on them to help with my illness I am not an addict! I don't drink, smoke or take caffeine! I hope one day to be pill free.

    Good luck

  • Hi Hartley

    Thanks for your reply about the morphine. Very much appreciated :-)

    Sarah xx

  • I second the mctimony chiropractor, just had my first session this week after cancelling twice and it was really helpful.

  • In reply to Dee,

    I've been in chronic pain for 31 years.

    I have been up and down the opiate scale a few times so I know all about withdrawal. Tramadol is probably the nastiest.

    To clarify, I drug addict seeks more and more of a particular drug (usually to get high) and if that is not available then that person would replace it with a similar drug or alcohol, perhaps. I am drug dependant, depending on the level of pain I am in. I couldn't just stop as I'd have a nasty reaction because my body is used to it but I know how to reduce and stop if needed. As for swapping from morphine to fentanyl, you shouldn't of had any withdrawal at all because you were adding a stronger opiate than your previous one. Your gp should of told you to take your normal amount of morphine for the 3 or so days it takes for the fentanyl to kick in. I don't understand why you went through withdrawal, maybe your gp didn't explain the swap in detail to you


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