Chronic back pain - 6 weeks that I can't walk... - Pain Concern

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Chronic back pain - 6 weeks that I can't walk, sit or stand


I am a 44 year old reasonably fit working mum. About 6 weeks ago I started to have bad back pain after a reformer Pilates class which became excruciating about 5 weeks ago. I had an MRI that shows 4 bulging discs, disc degeneration, a bit of arthritis and nerve impingement - all lumbar area.

I have been in so much pain but have now got a combination of codeine/paracetamol, naproxen and buscopan that gives me around 2.5-3hrs of pain relief when I am lying down.

I can sit/stand and walk for about 60 secs at a time before needing to lie down. I am also now constipated due to the codeine but have Medes to try and deal with that.

I got to see a top spinal consultant last week who has said I don't need surgery but he has referred me for 4 facet joint injections by X-ray. Unfortunately the person I need to do this is on holiday but I am booked in fir 30th April. I am having physio and acupuncture 3 times a week too.

Has anyone had these injections before and do they work? Any advice of what I can do in the meantime? Another ten days of lying down unable to do anything fills me with dread - although I am not complaining that I am pain free fir most of my lying down time.

Any advice on anything linked to my symptoms would be much appreciated!



43 Replies

Hi you must be in awful pain and I emphasise. My sisters bf has injections in his back every so often and says they really help. He did say the injections are painful though I imagine they could give you local anaesthetic. I hope they work well for you. x

HearYou in reply to hypercat54

Good information from hypercat54 and brings up the question you should ask as to whether you'll be awake or under anesthesia. Must have been a very aggressive Pilates class. So sorry you're in such pain. But I cannot imagine having the epidural injections with just a local anesthesia. Hypercat54's friend must be a tough dude. Have seen some men have the injections in their shoulders though. Because my pain areas and previous fusions are "intertwined",the doctor doesn't want to take a chance on me moving while he does the injections.

hypercat54 in reply to HearYou

They can't do it under a general anaesthetic as you have to be awake, x

HearYou in reply to hypercat54

hypercat54, why do you say a general anesthetic can't be used as the patient has be awake....why does the patient have to be awake? I have never been awake when my epidurals have been administered.. Having one tomorrow under anesthesia by an anesthesiologist. Are we talking about two different types of procedures?

hypercat54 in reply to HearYou

I know little about it only that my sisters bf has injections in his back as pain relief and he has to be awake which is why he can't have a general. x

HearYou in reply to hypercat54

Hi hypercat54,

Just wondered WHY he has to be awake......I would simply pass out if I were awake when the depth of those needles penetrate my back, spinal area and it because the English healthcare system won't pay for the anesthesia? Mine are done under fluoroscope so the MD specialists can see where they are and where the pain-relieving material is going where it needs to go. I have never seen or met anyone here that wasn't under since 1994 when I needed them to practice law.

hypercat54 in reply to HearYou

The NHS is very good and would pay for an anaesthetic if needed. Like I said I don't know any more than that. Sorry. x

HearYou in reply to hypercat54

OK, thanks......don't know if the pain would be better choice than that type of treatment. I've seen the equipment used....woah.........

You need to be awake for facet joint - so that you can confirm it is the right area if performing the denervation, they will use a nerve stimulator.

Secondly there is absolutely no need that the patient needs to be knocked out, if anything a bit of mild sedation is fine.



Well, someone needs to discuss this with my pain management specialist, as my epidural for neck and upper right arm is scheduled for next Monday. I will be heavily sedated, then the area intended for the epidural will be numbed further. A fluoroscope is used and I can feel the entry needle slightly. But the doctor is not going to do a denervation.

waylay in reply to HearYou

I had them without anaesthesia into my spine. It was agonizing. Luckily they gave me fentanyl and medazolam, which made me pretty fuzzy, so I don't really remember much.

Bulging discs often can be eased back into their proper position with some simple basic PT moves over time. Happened to me. My PT professional umpires little league baseball and has to do these same exercises to keep his lower back in shape.

Have no idea what is going to be contained in the epidurals planned for you. That can vary,as well as how it is administered.

Surprised they are scheduled for you before seeing if PT exercise resolves your problem.

I have chronic pain due to severe injury years ago and required neurosurgery. Because opioids cloud my thinking so badly, I can't drive or work with them and they don't help a great deal. I have epidurals about every 4 months as they control my pain enough so I could work and have a decent life. They are administered at an outpatient surgical center by pain management MD under a fluoroscope.

I am under light anesthesia and am awakened after the procedure. Cannot take aspirin for three days before the procedure. Sometimes the pain is actually worse for several days after because, well, because the injection disturbs my back.....typical, rational reaction. lol Then relief comes over the next few days.

Best wishes to you and hope you have pain relief soon.x

I have sacral joint injections under x-ray and they work well for me. I had one on Wednesday and before that I could hardly walk anywhere or stand. It is worse for a few days, but woke up yesterday feeling great and even managed some gardening. I have mine done without sedation, but that is personal choice, some people have the sedation and maybe have that the first time if you are nervous because it helps to be relaxed when it is done.. Wouldn't say it's painful more very uncomfortable, but it doesn't take long to do. Now looking forward to reducing my medication, because they fog my brain. Hope your procedure goes well and you get some relief.

I had the injections in my lower back and it helped for a short time. The first numbed the area with local before injection it still hurt but was bearable. I suffer sciatica and nerve damage. The injection was used more too confirm that was the correct place to ease pain before I had decompression surgery which help for approximately a year.

My facet joint injections do help for about 4 months but where I am the health board can only manage yearly injections due to lack of staff and theatre room. I have the injections with a local anaethetic. I can't see the need for a general for these but for nerve denervation the pain is much worse and needs sedation rather than a general.

I imagine that your injections will be steroid ones rather than epidural.

In the mean time get yourself a tens machine. It should make a difference. I couldn't do without mine.

Movement is important to stop all the aches and pains which can be associated with lack of movement so if you can only walk for 60 seconds do that regularly. Do shoulder rolls and ankle rolls and foot stretches. Anything that can be done during your sitting time.

I hope all goes well for you. Inflammation and the pain it causes will subside a bit with time.


waylay in reply to deejames

Man, I had radiofrequency denervation at 3 levels, both sides, awake. It was.... I have no words.

coffee_luvvie in reply to waylay

Feel your pain, I’ve had L3,4,5 S1, done twice and back on waiting list to have it done again. Don’t get long enough relief 🙁. I’m not sure how many times they can repeat it..


HearYou in reply to deejames

A little confused. My epidurals contain steroid with other meds..

You’ve got to be in awful pain. I’ve many facet block injections unfortunately did not work for me: however, every individual is different & reacts differently. Are you trying traction while lying down? I use a moist heating pad 20 minutes on followed with 20 minutes of ice. Repeat that process though out a day. External oniments help too. I’ve had two back surgeries; finally two years ago I opted for placement of spinal nerve implant to control my pain. It wirks. I found that “Nervo” works well for me as one can sleep, swim, drive and perform most everyday function without having to turn it off. One last issue get the weight off ASAP, eat foods that are non inflammatory, avoid carbs, sugar and eat fruits & vegetables. Good luck!

Kianasig100 Hi, I am so very sorry to hear that you are in such pain, I know it well as my back is very similar to yours. 11 years now, I have had several types of injections and surgery. I still have pain, I have failed back surgery syndrome. Before considering surgery try steroids and injections etc. I have been in pain management since the surgery in 2007 that was suppose to fix me. I use Lofstrand Crutches to stay balanced and a wheel chair if I get tired. I try but 2/3 of my day is laying down. I am on pain control, it helps, but my muscles are weak. I had a issue with constipation from the meds. I have reactions to so many meds due to liver and a secondary issue called Akathesia. I by accident discovered a way to fix my constipation issue without meds. I am diabetic and my mouth gets dry, so I got some Sugar Free Wintergreen Lifesavers in the bag to suck on for dry mouth. 2 to 3 a day maybe, well they have a laxative effect, it points it out on the bag. So I keep them in my house and eat 2 in am , two to 3 pm, and have not had constipation from meds at all. Just a idea. I've mentioned it to several people including my pain doctor and for almost all it worked. Just thought I'd mention it. Have a good day and best of wishes on Back treatment.

Hi, just a suggestion...... can you find a fully qualified deep tissue remedial massage therapist...? (not the same as sports massage, these are people who are qualified to use physical therapy for people with injuries or who are recovering from surgery). They might be able to help relieve the pain, or at least examine you & advise. Obviously I'm not a doctor & can't comment on your situation but it sounds like you may have put something out during your Pilates session, or it may have been a problem waiting to happen & the Pilates was the final straw. Sometimes remedial massage therapists can release nerves that are impinged & work on the surrounding soft tissues, which often tighten up where there is pain to protect the area & this can make the pain worse & also cause local inflammation. I suffered 30 years of back pain & would often put L4/L5 out, & also due to a twisted sacrum sometimes my facet joints would slip out of position. I could not stand or sit, due to the pressure on the nerves. Sometimes I couldn't get up or down the stairs (difficult when you live alone). Excruciating. After my knee surgery my body eventually re-adjusted with the help of remedial massage therapy. I still have episodes of pain, but not nearly as often, and now I know where to go to get the pain fixed. For example recently whilst leaning forward to put a sock on, I felt an awful tear in my lower back, the pain was like being stabbed. I couldn't get into a standing position with out my two sticks, nor could I sit. I managed to get some ice on it, lie down & take my pills & my therapist came to the house a couple of days later. He worked on the surrounding area, loosening off the muscle tightness & inflammation - & everything slipped back into place. Bingo - all gone. I It was one of the facet joints that had slipped out of position "slightly" & was pressing on a nerve. It might be worth trying to find someone who can help out in emergencies like this. They can also give you exercises to help strengthen vulnerable areas. Can't stress enough - make sure they are fully qualified. I won't let ANYONE near my body unless I'm 200% convinced they are qualified & know what they're doing. I feel for you. Serious back pain is so incapacitating & is so painful. I hope everything works out for you.

I hear you. Luckily for me, 2-3 days a week I can walk around the house or even to our local shop (160m), and sometimes take a bus somewhere, but I do spend the majority of most days lying down, and 4 days a week I have to lie down almost all the time. 1 or 2 days a week I can't stand on my own - I've had to crawl to the bathroom many times. :/ DON'T WORRY ABOUT ENDING UP LIKE ME! I have chronic back pain due to nerve damage, not acute pain like you. It CAN happen, but odds are low.

Being stuck in bed is awful. Lonely, isolating, frustrating... I spent months lying on the floor in my living room, and a couple of years in bed 23/24 hours a day. The problem is that lying down allows your muscles to atrophy, and since they support your spine, etc., that can make it worse. If you can do gentle stretches in bed, and try to stand up and walk a few steps once every hour or two (I know, it's awful), that will help a bit. Lying in bed is the worst thing you can do for a bad back, but if the pain is that bad there's not much you can do!

Non-medication things you can do: gentle stretches, even done lying down, can help. With an acute injury, it might not be a good idea to stretch the injured areas, especially in your spine, but try to stretch other areas of your body. They can stiffen up with inactivity and pain, and that'll hurt more. Stretches help a lot.

Heat and/or cold. An electric blanket/microwaveable heat pack/those stick-on heat patches are amazing for me. Other people find that cold helps more. Some people switch back and forth.

If you have access to a TENS machine, I find it very helpful, but some people find them useless, and you're probably only going to have access to one through a pain specialist.

I know it sounds all crystals-and-light, but relaxation exercises can really help. Pain tends to make us tense everything up, especially the muscles around the injured parts, which can cause a lot more pain. Find some relaxation exercises online and start practicing. It can take a few weeks to get really good at them, but they may well help you.

Distraction. Watch TV, read a book, listen to music, talk to someone, listen to the radio, play a video game, read the news. Whatever you have to do. Distraction is very useful. Pet your cat/dog/hamster, even.

Physio is off the table for you atm, I take it? Massage can be very useful, but I'd wait until you've seen a specialist doc. You don't want to go messing around with injuries like yours until they tell you it's safe.

The meds you're on are pretty normal for initial back pain, but it sounds like they're not enough given your level of pain! Of course, all meds have side-effects, and some of them can cause real problems, particularly if you're on them for a long time. There are always trade-offs.

Naproxen was amazing for me, but after years of 1000mg/day it destroyed my stomach (it's an NSAID, like ibuprofen, but much stronger). I got an ulcer, and now have severe GERD. This took YEARS, though, so you're safe for now. However, it's a good idea to always take it with food. If you're going to be on it for more than a few weeks, get a stomach protector prescribed - omeprazole was helpful for me. Your GP should be aware of this issue.

Paracetamol can be very good, but you should be having your liver levels checked every 6 months if you're on it long-term. DO NOT drink alcohol while on paracetamol (liver damage if you do it regularly), and NEVER take more than prescribed. An overdose can damage your liver so badly that it kills you.

I was on codeine/paracetamol for ages, and it helped, but not much. How much are you taking? When I had to stop paracetamol I started taking codeine alone, and it worked better. Apparently paracetamol and codeine attach to some of the same receptors, so they block each other a bit.

I don't know what dose of codeine you're on, but you could talk to your GP to see if you can raise it. If not, the next med to try is probably tramadol. I was switched to tramadol from codeine a few years ago, with Oramorph (Oral morphine) for breakthrough pain, and it's WAY better for me. I've only had to go to A&E for extra pain relief once since then, whereas on codeine it was 2-3 times per year.

Other people I know are on morphine, butrans patches, fentanyl patches, etc. These are serious painkillers, and are more addictive than codeine or tramadol, so docs don't like to give them for long periods, but if you need them, you need them. The pain doc generally asks your GP to prescribe them if he agrees that you need them.

Since you only hurt yourself a few weeks ago, your pain is probably partially due to inflammation, stiffness, etc. More serious painkillers may be necessary for you for a while. Things to watch out for: I'm really lucky because opiates/opioids don't cause constipation for me, but most people suffer from it when they take them. Also, the stronger the opiate, the more it'll fuzz out your brain/make you sleep. I've gotten used to it now, but it can take a while. Addiction is always a possibility, even with codeine, so just be aware of that.

If you're suffering from muscle spasms (buscopan indicates that you might be, unless you also have IBS or abdominal pain), anti-spasmodics / muscle relaxants are amazing. I was on Flexeril (in Canada - might be called something else here) at first, but it made me sleep most of the day. I tried methocarbamol, which helped, but not enough (I don't think this is available in the UK). Now I use diazepam/clonazepam, which are brilliant, but I only take them when I need them. They're benzodiazepines, which can be quite addictive (Valium is another benzo), and docs don't like to prescribe them for very long at all. I think I get them because I only take them when absolutely necessary, and I also have anxiety, which they really help for. They do tend to knock me out, but only for a couple of hours. Other meds like this:

If you're in agony and unable to do anything but lie in bed for the next month, I'd talk to your GP about tramadol/something stronger and muscle relaxants, if necessary. And definitely ask about omeprazole to counteract the stomach-eating effects of naproxen.

Sorry so long! I've had chronic back pain for a decade, so I tend to go on and on about it. ;) Good luck!

The shots are just a temporary band-aid for the pain.It's not going to cure your problems.They work for some people.Me personally,they did not.It's a pretty painful procedure.If you haven't already, maybe look into a laser specialist.It's less invasive than reg. Surgery and it could possibly help in the long run.Oppose to a life time of painful injections.

Hi, I have had these radio frequency led injections and denervation for facet joint arthritis and recurring prolapsed disc at L5 S1

I wasn't given any advice and carried on as normal, or at least tried to. I suffered terrible muscular pain and aching, I took a week off work in the end, probably about week 2. Then that eased up and I had a month of feeling much better and thought I'd finally found some successful treatment, had appt with spinal surgeon (did my original discectomy) and told him I had 50% improvement so he agreed to postpone fusion surgery, however it was only short lived and I am back to square one and when I see surgeon again intend to go for fusion.

It is definitely worth trying though. Pain management were meant to ring me 6 weeks after this procedure but they never did and I didn't get the referral to the gym either, very disappointing. Good luck x

ChrissyLAT in reply to Krawlins

Good luck with the fusion surgery.I had the same fusion L5 S1 done a couple years ago.It was the most excruciating pain I have ever went through in my life.The recovery was over a year and I'm still on pain meds.The fusion was successful but my surrounding nerves were affected.Just make sure you have a constant companion living with you, because you are going to need it.I literary could not do anything for myself for a very long time.I couldn't even wipe myself after going to the bathroom.Thank god I have a very loving and understanding husband.He was a saint.

kayraw in reply to ChrissyLAT

Oh ChrissyLAT, that worries me as I'm going to be considering this very soon and I do have a dilemma about it. Was the pain excruciating after the procedure or before? I think my nerves and muscles are already affected. When I leave work after having sat for hours I find it very difficult and painful to walk. My muscles are so tense and painful too and no painkiller touches that muscular pain. Pain is 24/7 but varies in degree from hour to hour, depending on what I'm doing, have done. I keep thinking the fusion is the solution to the problem but I fear it may not be? I work part time and have two dogs, two grown up children and my dad of 89 living with me (and my husband) I'm concerned about walking dogs, washing etc as my husband works as well as my son and daughter and I am definitely not expecting anyone to do that for me. Is that the norm do you know? Do you regret having the op, are you feeling better now than you did before the op? Would you recommend it or not?

ChrissyLAT in reply to kayraw


I'll start from the beginning. First thing,having the right doctor is key.I learned the hard way.The first doctor I went to (recommended by a friend)told me to avoid a painful surgery and recovery to have a laminectomy done instead.Basically what that is a minimally less invasive procedure.I could walk out the same day.The plan was to shave the disc down and re-adjust.well this doctor shaved to much which compromised my spine.I felt fine right after and I thought.thank god ,finally some relief.Well after a few days I started having worse pain than when I the doctor put me on opiates and said if it didn't get better in a week he would do another MRI.A week went by and I was in excruciating pain.had the MRI done,doctor told me everything looked fine.It just takes time for some people.So a year later,still on heavy pain meds.and no relief ,my doctor decided he couldn't care for me anymore and stopped my pain med. Prescription.when I Called his office the receptionist told me not to call anymore.that the doctor did all he could do.needless to say I was dumb founded.he hooked me on pain meds.and then walked away. That's when I called my primary doctor to tell him what happened. He got me in for an appointment the next day, called more pain meds in for me and referred me to a back specialist that he himself had seen previously.I went to the appointment with my MRI and one look at it,he told me my spine was fractured.The previous doctor shaved too much disc. So basically I walked around for a year with a broken back.yes it was very painful. So my new doctor recommended the spinal fusion on my disc and to repair the fracture to my spine.I pretty much had no other choice but to have the fusion done.

I'm not going to sugar-coat my experience. I'll tell you exactly what you're in for. In the hospital after I had the surgery done and I woke up from the anesthesia, I felt pain like I've never felt before even on heavy duty pain killers. I laid there crying for 2 days. The pain was absolutely unbearable. I was in the hospital for 3 days. When I came home is when the nightmare continued. I hope you plan on hiring a nurse if you don't want to rely on anyone taking care of you. I'm going to tell you right now, there's no way you are going to be able to do even the simplest of things for yourself. You will be sent home with a walker which will become your new best friend for a while. You will need a commode chair to go over your toilet and to be able to put in your shower because you're not going to be able to stand in the shower. It's best to have a handheld shower head. I could not even wipe myself after using the bathroom. Because of being on the strong pain meds it created terrible constipation. I didn't move my bowels for 3 days after the surgery. When I finally went to the bathroom I sat there and screamed and cried because it hurts so bad. My husband had to run out to the store and get a 4-pack of enemas and give them to me. It was very embarrassing. The only relief I got is when I was laying in bed on my side propped up by if you have an upstairs and that is where your bedroom is you better be prepared to move your bed downstairs for the next 6 months to a year. Because you won't be able to climb the stairs. It took up to six months before I could really start doing things for myself without help. It took up to a year maybe a little more to know if the fusion was a was.I fused.thank god..the pain is very minimal now.I can finally stand and walk without my legs going numb. I can't tell you if it's worth it for you to have it done. Everyone's situation is different. In my situation I pretty much had no other choice. I would not wish that pain or recovery on my worst enemy.but I'm thankful I had it done and it's over with. Because without it, I had no quality of life. I didn't go anywhere, I could barely stand or walk and I'm only 45 years old. When I started this, my friends aunt had the same thing done and warned me about the surgery and the pain and the recovery, just like I'm doing with you. I went into the surgery knowing I was going to be in a lot of pain and it was going to be a long recovery. But knowing and actually feeling what I felt after the surgery was so much different. I never knew pain, like I had after the surgery. I'm sorry if this is scaring you, but you need to hear the truth about the surgery, the pain, the recovery and especially the help you are going to need after the surgery. Like I told you before my husband was wonderful with me. He took the first two weeks off of work, to take care of me. When he wasn't here and he was working, my teenage daughter help me with what I needed. If I didn't have them I don't know what I would have done. Ultimately it's your decision in what you want to do. If the pain is altering your life now, it's only going to get worse as you get older. The question is are you willing to live the rest of your life that way. It's really a hard decision, especially when you know what is involved now. I feel for you. if you decide to go ahead with the fusion, I wish you good luck.

Krawlins in reply to ChrissyLAT

Oh my goodness I truly feel for you, you have my every sympathy for what you have endured. I don't expect it to be a walk in the park, I know there will be pain and challenges to come. Fortunately I don't have the fractured spine as you did and have spoken to an ex colleague who had the fusion few years ago but didn't suffer the horrors you did. If I decide to proceed they will do another MRI again and I have a long list of questions for the surgeon so that I can make an informed choice. I wish you well

Gosh - I am bowled over by how kind you have all been taking time to give me advice and comments.

Apologies for the radio silence but I have had a really bad 48 hrs pain wise. The weekends are always the worst - especially Sunday. I ended up calling the out of hours dr yesterday who prescribed me diazepam and tramadol. They had diazepam in stock but no tramadol so my husband will get that for me today. I am wondering if I am supposed to stop the codeine with Tramadol - does anyone know?

I literally couldn’t move yesterday and was in so much pain regardless of all the meds. I had two lots of 5mg diazepam that pretty much zombified me but the pain was still there. I did manage to get a bit of sleep last night which is good.

A neighbour knows the consultant who is giving me the facet joint injections next week. He is trying to get hold Of him to find out if he is actually out of the country on holiday or if there is any way he could do them earlier - he is definitely on holiday from work until next Monday :(

I live in a small place (Northern Ireland) and there are very few people recommended for these injections - he is supposed to be the best in terms of success rate and technique so I was keen to wait for him. I just don’t know if I can hold out another week!!

I feel like such a druggie - literally watching the clock for the next meds. I never usually take any form of medication - apart from for my cholesterol which is an hereditary condition.

Anyway, I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you for replying to my post. It means a lot and gives me encouragement that things may improve.

A couple of you mentioned my Pilates - I think it was the straw that broke the camels back (so to speak). I think the key cause was working from home for 2 weeks in a row and spending 14 hr days on a lap top at my kitchen table with the wrong type of chair and table height. My company had a two week travel ban which was why I was at home for so long.

Now I haven’t been able to work for 6 weeks which is worrying me as I am the main breadwinner for the family. I live in Ireland but work in London/Edinburgh 3 days a week and from home the other two. I clearly can’t travel at the moment and the drugs make my brain fuzzy so I am not effective on conference calls either.

It is a visciius circle but I am praying things will improve after the injections. My dad has suffered similarly over the years and the injections helped him.

Thanks again for all your support.


Hi sweetie I have had the injections a couple of times and unfortunately they didn’t work for me. What I mean was long term they only reduce my pain a little.

I had a fractured spine and had cement put into the fractures and I also had a Radio Frequency nerve ablation ( my nerves lasered ) after that procedure it was very painful and again it only reduced my pain. I now have found a doctor that is going to start at the beginning and do all his own scans X-rays bone density etc and find out what is the real cause of my pain. I even thought about going to America if I couldn’t get the help here to get me out off pain. I have had so many procedures over the last three years steroid injections many times Botox injections to relax my muscles. I am going to let this doctor I have found see what he can do for me and I have finally think that I have found a doctor that can really help with my pain in my back, hips and legs.

I can truly sympathise with you because I truly know how you are feeling because I have been going through this awful pain myself. I also know that the medication only masks the pain for a short time as well and also the problems going to the toilet adds to what we are going through.

If you ever need to know anything you can always pm me if you would like to.

I truly wish you well from the bottom of my heart ❣. Please let me know how you get on. Love and hugs 🤗🤗🌹🌹😘😘👍🤞

Hi everyone. Just a little update.

Two days ago my dr called an ambulance for me - I couldn’t cope with the pain any longer. The gas and air and liquid morphine gave me the relief I had been praying for - but sadly can’t have it at home!

They confirmed that I need the facet joint injections and thankfully I am booked in privately on Monday as they said it would take months through NHS.

They added voltarol/diclofenac suppositories to my pain meds and I have to say they are giving me more relief - unless the morphine is still in my system. The main side effect seems to be terrible wind and sore tummy but I have just called the dr to see if I can get some omeprazole added into my meds to try and protect my tummy.

I’ll keep you all posted but swapping the naproxen to diclofenac suppositories has definitely helped a little with the pain- just in case that is a useful tip for anyone. 2 x 100mg a day. And I am still on the 30/500 codeine paracetamol...

Kiana x

lowlife in reply to Kianasig100

Glad you've found a little relief at last. Hopefully the pain injections will also help for a while. Good luck and keep us posted x

Hi everyone. Just a little update for you. So I went to have my 4 facet joint injections on. Monday. As soon as I was in the room and met the consultant I burst into tears. Partly with fear of what pain was about to come and partly with relief that the day had finally come.

He was such a lovely man and very understanding. I don’t think the rest of his patients would be so emotional!!

The process was pretty much agony - he said my back is still in complete spasm and discs all very inflamed which would make it more painful. I couldn’t believe after about 15 minutes of torture that he said that’s the first one done! And that was on my good side. I think I must have a very low pain threshold. They gave me a lot of local anaesthetic but I could still feel the pain because my back kept spasming around the needle.

He left the worst one to last which was right by an exposed and inflamed nerve.

Anyway, all over now and I think it is starting to kick in! I had one less dose of codeine yesterday and this morning I have woken up feeling like I can get dressed and maybe leave the house. If it continues like that the pain was so worth it and if there is a next time I will have to be asked to be knocked out (which I did do 10 mins into the process this time but it didn’t happen!)

I just wanted to update you and let you know that there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. 9 weeks of lying on my back all day could be coming to an end.

I know this isn’t a cure and I am going to have to work hard with my physio therapist to strengthen and get moving again. Any other tips from anyone as to what I should do when this calms down to prevent it from happening again?



I'm reading this despite your post of a long time ago. I had 4 facet joint injections done on 14.05.2019 and at home 2 hours later I felt fine, pain free and was walking upright again (after many months of being bent over like a 94 year old instead of a fit slim 74)!

I was euphoric and now, by 19.05.2019, I am still feeling like my old self and trying not to do too much although I want to do everything! How long it will last I don't know, but thank G.d for the NHS and my wonderful consultants who got this done for me within less than 3 months.

I have a very high pain threshold and no-one could believe I had managed to live/work/function albeit slowly but took dihydrocodeine and ibuprofen tds for so long. Also, when I had the facet joint injections I never had any sedation (it was never offered and I did not ask for it as I am pretty stoic, just wanted the treatment), only local weak anaesthetic jab. It felt a bit painful when the cannula found the facet nerve spots as it touched the nerve (like when you have a dental anaesthetic injection into your jaw pre-filling and you feel it poking your jawbone) but that was only fractions of seconds each of 4 times. Totally cope-able with for me, as I just wanted months of pain to dissolve, hopefully!

Reason for posting this reply is that I want to reassure others like me who may be nervous (!) about this procedure. It isn't a cure, don't know how long it will last but at least I have become what I was before all that pain - AND I HAVE NOT HAD ONE dihydrocodeine since before the procedure! (Have had a couple of 300mg ibuprofens due to possibly overdoing the gardening/housework due to slight muscle spasms, but no deal as am taking omeprazole to counteract tummy damage)

To all of you out there - rely on the marvellous NHS and hope you get as good a consultant as I did! Best wishes!

I totally know what you’re going through. I’ve had two back surgeries and I just turned 36. I see a chiropractor three times a week and I also do acupuncture and it does help but it doesn’t fix everything. I also stretch I do what ever I can do to help myself. I have chronic back pain and degenerative disc disease. It suck’s all the way around. I have done a lot of injections and for me they didn’t help me but everyone is different. I also found some oils that I use that I rub on myself after a shower and they do help. I use Hemp CBD essential oil and it helps the pain for a while. I hope I could help.

Kianasig100 in reply to Ssliazuk

Thank you for replying. Poor you - thanks for the tip on the oils. I am praying the injections start to work!!!

Thank you for replying. Poor you - thanks for the tip on the oils. I am praying the injections start to work!!!

Without reading the MRI report its difficult to say but it is likely a great deal is normal, especially bulging discs.

The facet joint injections are arranged really quickly, as was the MRI. You are very lucky.

Lastly I hate to be pedantic, but if this only started 6 weeks ago this isn't chronic pain, and there is the possibility it may pass or get better on its own.

Thank you - yes, apologies, I realised after joining this site that people have been in pain for years so I am sure I am not in the chronic phase - just feels like it to me!!!

I suppose I am now about 9 weeks in which seems like a life time but nothing compared to others here.

I luckily have private health insurance through my company and my husband had back surgery a year ago so we know the right people - hence got a cancellation that was extremely lucky.

I can share the MRI report if it is useful but I don’t really know what it says as am not medical.

Praying the injections start to kick in. I am still in the same pain but have been told it can take a couple of weeks to start taking effect so keeping everything crossed.

I will keep you updated!


The injections are usually done under sedation so it feels like your asleep but you are able to respond to docs

They need you to be able to respond and confirm they have needle in correct space

You won’t remember anything afterwards



So sorry to hear your suffering. Magnesium in the right dose helps pain, relaxes muscles and relieves constipation. I take magnesium orally and use it in a spray on painful areas.

If your on omeprazole bear in mind that it lowers stomach acid. If stomach acid is low it affects the absorption of nutrients. For example like ,Vitamin B12 and some other minerals.


Hi. Welcome. I know what it's like to have severe back pain. You can get through the next ten days. Stay on here. Do you not have any family or friends that can pop in to help you? (I don't) so, I understand if you don't want to answer. I'm glad to hear your pain is managed! If no person can come in please phone social services.

The law must protect you if you are not able to move about and do what you need to do. No human is to live in a degrading situation. It's a basic human right to have help. Wishing you my best.


You will find that until you have had 3 lots of injections you will not be considered for anything more invasive. I myself suffered intense pain

Over 3 yrs mostly left lumbar down the leg and pain in back passage life

Was hell from walking, sitting , and lying down. Eventually saw spinal

Surgeon he suggested spinal injections he said pain coming from higher

Up after seeing MRI I disagreed but went ahead. They give a bit of anaesthetic into spine first then joint injections. He had got it completely

Wrong I had no relief whatsoever. About 6mths later saw another

Surgeon exactly the same outcome. I then left it a year and was recommend to someone else, I was in agony so I thought one more

Try the first thing he said was I'm going to have to inject you I was gutted he said look I have to make sure I'm in the right place but its lower down than your previous injections, I thought thank God he's actually listened, after the procedure I was pain free for about 6 weeks

he said now we know we are in the right place we can operate and a while later I had a T L I F operation they found a completely crushed

Nerve in the lumbar that had made my life a misery. He advised that if it had gone on much longer I might have lost my leg eventually.

That's my story I hope it helps you.

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