Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lordosis, Herniated Discs, Pinched Nerve, and Epidural Steroid Shots

Ellie Bear pic at bottom.

I hope to be back on my feet soon!  Okay more like back to sitting soon.  I think that the least time I blogged I mentioned that I was having severe lower back and hip pain and as such could barely sit.  Hence why I am typing standing up!  Since then, I managed to pinch a nerve in my next while buckling Ellie into her car seat.  A seemingly innocent movement that led to severe pain between the shoulder blades (referred pain) and numbness and tingling in my right arm.  Sorry for that type-os!

First off, I have lordosis aka swayback:

Photo: www.spinelifts.com



This puts added pressure on my lower spine and pelvic area.

This lead to pain.  Unbeknownst to me and the doc, we thought it is due to something called lumbar facet something or other.  A MRI revealed that he was wrong and I have not one but TWO problems. Yay!  Yippee!  Ever the over-achiever!

I have two torn and herniated discs at L4/L5 and at L5/S1.  I also have spinal arthritis.  Goody.

Photo: www.medicalexhibits.com

Lumbar Radiculopathy
Hence the hip and thigh pain I have.
Photo: Emory Neuroscience 

www.voaspine.com

We tried physical therapy to build up core muscles and maintain a proper pelvic tilt to improve posture.  This helped my lower back but exacerbated my hip.  After 3 weeks, I quit. Yes, I was a quitter.  After physical therapy failed to alleviate the pain and pressure in my lower back, hip, and thigh, we turned to epidural corticosteroid shots.

Photo: www.patients.darthmouth-hitchcock.org


Great description of the procedure
Photo: www.baystatepain.com

I had two shots in the problem areas yesterday.  I was under the mistaken impression that this was going to be a piece of cake since I had an epidural when I had Ellie.  Wrong!  I was delusional.  The pain was so severe as the steroid was going in that I may have said a few choice words that are not appropriate for this blog.  Two shots, two times my nerves were on fire--all the say down my leg to my toes, then all the way through my right lower back, hip, buttocks, and thigh.  I was left with 10 out of 10 pain (compared to my 6/10 prior to the procedure) and a numb right leg.  This is a common occurrence since there is pressure on the disc due to the added fluid the steroid creates.  As it dissipates, it will improve.  Steroid shots can take 3-5 days to decrease the pain and then may take up to 21 days to reach full benefit.

Please say a prayer that this works.  I need to get back to PT, exercise, core building exercises (to pull my pelvis into correct alignment), and stretching.

Just to tie you all over, here is a pic of the ever-stylish Bear.  She is channeling Carmen Miranda:






References:

Lordosis.  Mount Sinai Hospital.  http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/lordosis

Cervical Radiculopathy (pinched nerve in neck).  University of Maryland Medical Center. http://umm.edu/programs/spine/health/guides/cervical-radiculopathy

What is a herniated disc, pinched nerve, bulging disc? Spine-Health. http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/whats-a-herniated-disc-pinched-nerve-bulging-disc

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections for Lumbar Herniated Discs and Sciatica.  Spine-Health. http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/injections/lumbar-epidural-steroid-injections-low-back-pain-and-sciatica

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6 comments:

  1. I'm sending huge sympathy for your back problems, I don't want to bore you with mine but I feel your pain. I hope you get relief soon, and that Carmen Miranda helps you smile though your recovery. I had good results with rest (easier said then done I know), core strengthening exercises and major does of psinkillers!

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    Replies
    1. You could never bore me! Yeah rest, I don't know what that is ;-) Yes while "Carmen Miranda" keeps me on my toes, she also keeps me very entertained

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  2. Whoa, you have MANY things going on. I have two bulging discs from Cheerleading in High School and had bad back pain and have a weak core. I got a cortisone epidural and that was the first time I'd been pain free in six years. And yes, the cortisone shots can HURT. The one I got in my foot was so bad I almost passed out after. I will never do that again. The epidural one was less bad for some reason, my body is weird. ARGH. Hope you feel better soon!

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    Replies
    1. Molly, OUCH! Hopefully, you won't need any more shots.

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  3. I just remembered that using a lordosis roll in the car, or when sitting anywhere, helped with the pain. It provided support where before I just had the hollow, and allowed me to relax thus lessening the tension and strain. Of course this might not be applicable to you, or you are already using one, but they sell them on Amazon and probably at 'Relax the Back'.

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