Patient Comments: Epidural Steroid Injection - Indications


For what condition did you have an epidural steroid injection? What was your experience with the procedure? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Beverle , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I had severe arthritis in my neck and had six cervical epidural steroid injections, three on each side. I have never experienced such pain in my life. I cried throughout the entire procedure. It has only been eight days since I had it done, and I don’t notice any difference as yet, but I don’t think I can ever go through that pain again.

Comment from: Randy w, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 30

I had an epidural steroid injection in my lower back, without being put to sleep. It was torture, horrible. I will never do it again unless I am out to sleep.

Comment from: Bubbles, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 11

I've had lower back pain for a number of years. I have stenosis, plus several other conditions I can't spell. From September 2019 until January 2020, I went to 'pain management' and had so many injections I felt like a pincushion. I had several epidural steroid injections (ESI) - nothing helped for more than one or maybe two days. It was all a waste of time, so I quit in January 2020. I still have terrible lower back pain. I don't want to take opioids but other pain pills aren't working. The ESI procedure wasn't too bad.

Comment from: Auzzie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 11

I have had numerous epidural corticosteroid injections over the years; hands, knee, cervical and lumbar spine. Difficult sometimes for the doctor to locate the nerve root due to scarring, bone spurs, and degenerative changes. I always have a 'flare' following the injection; the nerve has been aggravated from the injection. Side effects are more pain, insomnia, flushing, and headache. Takes weeks before improvement. They have saved me from surgery, so thankful for them! L5-S1 was extremely painful; I will now take pain medicines prior.

Comment from: montscougar, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 02

I had two bulging and herniated discs in my very low back, and it was quite painful. I had 3 series of epidural steroid injections and was good for a few years. My back is very painful now and having had two hernia repairs in the last four years I am ready for more back shots. The shots are great, the painkiller in the shots make it feel better instantly.

Comment from: Duck, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I had my epidural steroid injection. After the injection I had sky high blood pressure and tightness in the chest, but I did have pain relief after having been sick so long with chronic pain.

Comment from: Never Epidural, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 12

I had my epidural steroid injection to treat my C5-C6 in the neck, on December 30. Today is day 11 and everything is so much worse. Before the epidural I often had low level pain (occasionally moderate) but the pain level is so much more intense and I am scared.

Comment from: John, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 31

In 2015 I had my first epidural steroid injection for spinal stenosis and I never recovered. The pain in my legs and back went from intermittent to nonstop. January 2020 my new doctor said the shots were mandatory before surgery according to insurance. During the procedure pain shot down my left leg and I thought I was going to pass out. The pain now is a 10 and it's not going away. It’s been 3 months and I'm still unable to do simple basic tasks. I highly recommend not getting these shots.

Comment from: Epidural Steroid Inj, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: March 05

I had to have an epidural steroid injection for lumbar spinal stenosis. Numbness, leg pain, and lower back pain have not subsided after the epidural injection. Some conditions have worsened. No idea why this condition worsened after this treatment. Back to square one in relief for this discomfort.

Comment from: Fuzzydex , 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 03

I've just had an epidural steroid injection on 2/3/2020, which I have had plenty over the years. When the doctor had started putting the medicine in I had a sharp pain in my left leg that was very excruciating, I never felt pain like this before and I suffer from pain. I have had 3 lower back surgeries which started from a job injury in 1998, which was the year of the 1st surgery, 2004 2nd surgery and 3rd that put me on the medicines that I am on now. That doctor hit a nerve, I know he did because of the pain.


Lower Back Pain: Symptoms, Stretches, Exercise for Pain Relief See Slideshow
Comment from: jim, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 16

I had an epidural steroid injection for low back pain and sciatica. I have headaches, leg pain, and trouble walking very far.

Comment from: Sunshine, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

I had L5-S1 surgery in 2013. It was a laminectomy with hardware. They put a screw through a nerve so I had a revision surgery 3 months later to fix it. My back and leg pain have gotten progressively worse. I was diagnosed with FBS (failed back syndrome) and the L4-L5 are now needing surgery in future. I had an epidural steroid injection 2 days ago and besides it being painful, my neck, back, lower back, buttocks, and legs hurt worse. Standing or sitting I am feeling a lot of pressure. Also have acid reflux, headache and feeling emotional. Never again.

Comment from: Tam, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 01

I wear hearing aids that have rubber pieces on the ends. Three times now they have gotten lodged into my ear canal. I assumed on the 1st one when I attempted to put it in the next morning that it had fallen somewhere. Several months later after sinus infections and dizziness I went to the doctor and he dislodged it. The 2nd time I flushed out with peroxide. The 3rd time it took 2 attempts with peroxide and tweezers but I was able to dislodge it.

Comment from: Worried, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 09

I was injured at work and have had two lower back surgeries at L4, L5 and S1 at 32 years old. Now I am 63. I have severe pain. Under new law medications are reduced. I had epidural steroid injections on 10/07/2019, and I am in more pain. The doctor said I had scar tissue and inflammation was bad. I am hoping this will ease up soon. I don't know what else to do; will let everyone know in another week; fingers crossed.

Comment from: krich0928, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 04

I have five bulging discs in my cervical spine and three in my lumbar spine. I had my second epidural steroid injection this Monday in my neck and it was excruciating! The doctor said that he hit bone and that my nerves were inflamed. Since then I am having severe lower back muscle and nerve pain. I wonder if this is related to the injection in my neck, and what I should do about it.

Comment from: Jodimblue , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I just had my 3rd nerve root block injection 2 weeks ago. I get these epidural steroid injections due to severe lordosis which causes pounding on my lower sclerosis back which has caused severe nerve damage. I thought I was losing my mind because all of a sudden my knees were killing me. I'm only 37 and shouldn't have pain like this. The only side effects I'm having are water weight gain and I can't sleep!

Comment from: Upset, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 25

I had an epidural steroid injection after fractures of T11 and T12 and severe back pain. Four months after, I was very weak, with some loss of feeling in my arm. I have severe weight loss, and wasting away of my muscles. I should have done my homework. Never again. I am just sick all over. It’s just awful. I lost my job. Do your homework if you are thinking of having one.

Comment from: Bettejeanb, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 15

I had the epidural steroid injection for lumbar pain. I have had these injections numerous times with my doctor and was always fine. This other doctor calls anesthesia overkill. Yet my first injection done in the office was excruciating today the least. So two weeks later I get anesthesia (it was mentioned I was still moving around a lot). The first was in the left die. The second in the middle lumbar. I had this Thursday again. I see so little results although now I can tie my shoe with pain. Before I couldn’t even bend.

Comment from: The Truth, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 27

People, be cautious when reading some comments. Some people may be exaggerating. I'm in the medical field and have had epidural steroid injections in my neck C4 - C7 and lumbar L4 - S1. You have to follow instructions and help yourself heal with the exercises for that region of body. There is no miracle fix. There is always pain in rehabilitation just like working out. So talk to your neurologist not orthopedist like some people claim, and create a treatment path. Orthopedics is not spinal work. Sorry.

Comment from: drummer, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 21

I had an epidural steroid injection a week ago. L5/S1 disk herniation was giving me horrible sciatica. I felt some pain relief immediately after the shot because I was full of lidocaine. But that wore off in a couple of hours. Pain relief for the next couple of days was about 30 to 40 percent. I expected the pain to continue diminishing, but it hasn't. It's actually gotten a bit worse one week after the injection. I'm alarmed. I guess I should wait a few more days before I go back and see the doctor.


Nearly everyone has low back pain at some time during their life. See Answer
Comment from: 27 years & counting , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 02

I have had epidural steroid injections in the L4/L5 and L5/S1 for seven years. When they did not work any longer I did what's called radial ablation. Basically they burn the nerves to stop the transfer of the pain, so to speak. I did this for three years. After this I started to have bladder issues and had to go back to my surgeon. He is not one to jump at surgery but knew it was time; I was 47. Now at 52 I have issues again and shots again. I also developed a cyst in the spine. Get a good doctor.

Comment from: Jacqui , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

I had an epidural steroid injection (Depo-Medrol) several months after a lower back injury. It doubled the pain and the physiatrist dropped me when he realized he wasn’t going to profit further off me. I would not do it again.

Comment from: KAnd, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

I had two epidural steroid injections a week ago under fluoroscopy, one at C5/C6 and one at C6/C7. They both hurt (a 7 out of 10 and a 12 out of 10). He said he hit a bone which caused the pain. They did nothing yet for my arm pain. Instead, I have a large bruise, a swollen nodule about the size of a marble, pain from collar bone to ear, pain between shoulder blades, and pain when I turn my head. I will not get another injection.

Comment from: jean, 65-74 (Patient) Published: July 24

After a total knee replacement I was unable to get to good mobility; I thought the leg weakness was coming from my hips although it felt like a mild sciatica problem and buttocks weakness. After the pain became severe, my knee surgeon finally sent me to a doctor to take a look at my back. After an MRI, he sees spinal stenosis (nerve pinching/compressing), bone spurs, and slippage of L4 over the L5. Epidural steroid injection was given on both the right and left and has given me relief so far!

Comment from: Faith, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I had suffered from a back injury resulting in 2 slipped discs, about 5 days ago. Before I came home I had a cortisone lumbar injection. I’m going on day 6 and my whole abdomen is swelling and is super tight. I am really frightened not knowing what’s happening and at the same time I’m still in pain.

Comment from: Lana S, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I have had so far two epidural steroid injections within an 8 month period. The first one was very successful, so when the pain came back I decided to get another one. The night after the injection I felt electric shock down my leg every time I was falling asleep. It scared me and I could not sleep afraid that it will came back. Today is day two and I am in pain from both my herniated and ruptured discs and the procedure itself. I am scheduled to see a doctor within two weeks but I am not sure if I will repeat the procedure ever. The pain during the procedure was humongous, by the end of it I was crying like a child, and I am 43 years old!

Comment from: catlady, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

I had my first epidural steroid injection at age 17, I could hardly walk and the injection was very painful, but it helped. I had my second injection at age 29 and I was strapped down, held down, and tortured until I screamed and passed out from the pain. Two days later I lost the ability to walk and bowel and bladder function. I was immediately dumped as a patient and left to fend for myself. I ended up having to have a spine surgery. My neurosurgeon just suggested a cervical injection, knowing my history, and I became physically ill. I no longer trust him, or any doctor, so I will just suffer until I can’t walk again. For some reason it is ok to seriously injure and abandon patients with non FDA approved dangerous treatments. Death is preferable to a spinal injection.

Comment from: JBB, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I had the epidural steroid injection because of overall spine pain. Since I had had previous spinal fusion surgery in the lumbar area, the doctor had to give the injection into my tailbone to avoid hitting any of my 'hardware.' It was very painful. But afterwards I felt ok. Two days later I awoke with excruciating left leg pain along with numbness. My primary care physician sent me to the emergency room and I was admitted. But they could do nothing for me. They sent me to a rehabilitation facility. They were excellent. They taught me to sit up, get in and out of bed, use a wheelchair at first and then I graduated to a walker. I have burning pain and shooting pain and it often feels like I have a brace on my thigh that someone keeps tightening. I can only get out of a chair that has arms. I'm not the independent person I used to be. My husband has become my caretaker. I had home health for a few weeks after I got home, but I'm just getting worse. I'm going to try going to outpatient physical therapy. I need a ride for anywhere I go. From the online research I've done, I think I may have arachnoiditis which is nerve pain, in my case in my leg. There is no cure. And little in the way of treatment. I will never let anyone go near my spine with a needle again.

Comment from: Daniel S., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 08

I have a significant herniation of my C7-T1 disk which has been causing constant radiating pain from my neck though my right armpit and shoulder and down to my right fingertips. I had an epidural steroid injection performed one week ago and immediately felt near 100 percent relief. The improvement of my symptoms has been incredible. My procedure was performed by a board certified pain medicine specialist / anesthesiologist under fluoroscopy. I am hoping that the effect are long lasting.

Comment from: Dianne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I had a shot in my lower back to relieve pain in my left leg and foot. It took about two weeks to work but so far it has been a success. I have twinges off and on but nothing bad and I can now walk and bend. I actually got on the floor and up on my own without trouble for the first time in years. I did not realize how bad I had gotten over the past year or so. I just hope it lasts longer than a few months.

Comment from: Thill, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

I have 2 herniated discs and annular tears in my lower back in one place. I wanted to do Disc-FX surgery, but it is invasive. I went to a different orthopedic doctor and they decided no surgery but epidural injections. My blood pressure went stroke level for several days and I felt sick after the injection, then the pain came back after a week. I am scheduled for another injection if I get sick again. I am going somewhere else and asking for the invasive surgery, the doctor I see now has never heard of Disc-FX and said I was too young for fusion. I am 48.

Comment from: NC patient, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I suffered severe neck and shoulder pain for years. I started having epidural steroid injections and received some relief for about a year and a half. I always had sedation with my injections. During a procedure I woke up paralyzed. I was in ICU for a month and inpatient rehabilitation for a month, followed by years of physical and occupational therapy. Five years later I still suffer with neurogenic bladder and bowel, most of my left side of my body from chest to foot is numb, I can't use my left hand and I am in constant pain. This will continue for the rest of my life. My advice is don't do it, it’s not worth the risk.

Comment from: Lillyloo, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I had an epidural injection in L4 and L5. The Injection was extremely painful. I am no better than I was before. I also had a laminectomy and steroid shots in my bursa. Everything a failure. I still cannot walk without a walker. This all started about 4 years ago. I have seen 2 orthopedic surgeons and a pain management doctor for my injection. They want to do another steroid injection in my spine. I am afraid of the pain during the procedure and they will not put you out during the procedure.

Comment from: LadyMystic87, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

When I was 24 I herniated my L5 spinal disc and prolapsed my uterus when I gave birth to 2nd baby. When I was 26 I started my epidural steroid injections. I has my 1st in March and it only lasted 2 weeks and I needed my 2nd in April. The shot in April was able to last until July 1st. I have bone damage and sciatica from the herniated disc. I was able to fight through the pain until October 27th when I got my 3rd shot. The shots and physical therapy don't work well for me or last long. My doctor has already told me that I need surgery and has put an order in for it.

Comment from: Twino2, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

I had my first epidural steroid injection in my L4, L5 area on Fourth of July weekend. It started out with pain on my lower right leg. The minute I had the shot I could feel when they hit the nerves. I almost jumped off the table! My pain is 150 times worse. I now have pain in my buttocks, all the way down to where my pain was originally. This has been the worst decision in my whole life. I have constant pain in my buttocks and leg now. Three months later after trying three different anti-seizure medications, and now on oxycodone and Lyrica, I am still not receiving a relief. I even tried three rounds of acupuncture. That did lesson my pain some, but can't afford $300 a week since insurance doesn't cover it. The doctor says it could take up to 6 months for these nerves to heal. The only relief I have is sitting on ice packs or sleeping.

Comment from: happytolive, Male (Patient) Published: June 04

I had epidural steroids for low back pain and pain in my left leg. The steroid they used was Depo Medrol. My doctor told me that it was a safe procedure. After the shot my pain got a lot worse and migrated to the other leg. Then I found out that I had an incurable disease, adhesive arachnoiditis which is a side effect of getting these shots. My pain is 1000 times worse and it is intractable, 24/7 pain and it is really hard to find a doctor to treat me. I would give anything to go back in time and not get these shots which was the worst decision I ever made in my life.

Comment from: Meme, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I had an epidural cortisone shot in the lumbar region a week ago. I already feel much less pain. I can stand and walk for longer periods and can even sit for a while. The numbing shots burned, but not for long. I didn"t feel the long needle, though the medicine going in hurt because it caused my leg muscles to cramp. Luckily it was followed by a numbing chaser, so even that didn"t last long. For me, the procedure was very frightening, but it wouldn"t be the second time. I would have done better with a sedative, but I tend to get worked up. That said, I am glad I had it done.

Comment from: RP, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I had an epidural steroid injection for relief from an L5-S1 herniated disc. I started to notice it working about 7 days after the injection. I think my symptoms lessened by about 50%. The numbness and tingling in my foot and toes almost entirely went away (except while sleeping on my back) and I was able to stand for prolonged periods of time in the kitchen without getting the pain down my hamstring. I was fortunate to get a mild sedation before the injection; so I experienced no pain during the procedure itself.

Comment from: Cat, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I had epidural steroid injection done in December of 2013. It was extremely painful and unfortunately there was no relief from pain. I am currently debating having same procedure on my lumbar spine but am so afraid of the pain incurred during procedure I think I will cancel, especially because it may not work there either.

Comment from: Cmedved , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 04

I had a lumbar right side epidural steroid injection and I now am experiencing left knee pain and swelling.

Comment from: Regret, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 04

I had a procedure and I thought I was getting a local pain shot. I was wrong, it was an epidural steroid injection. The provider (and lawyer) did not tell me much about it. I was horrified by what happened. There was a room full of so called patients waiting like a production line. He said left leg which kicked then I felt a sharp pain from the needle. He said medicine and it felt like poison going in. They told me I could go to work the next day which was a joke. Been in extreme pain ever since. Don't do it. Don't do it.

Comment from: Spunky, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I have pain in the lower right side of my back. I had spinal epidural procedure 2 months ago for herniated disc on the left side.

Comment from: dkki, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

I had C6/C7 epidural steroid injection a few days ago. I felt sick after reading a few of these comments, could not read more. I was not aware nor asked at all about the injection. It hurt so bad I was screaming. Felt like an electric shock throughout the body, and then the entire body was paralyzed for 25 minutes. I was never warned either was about to happen or would happen. He will never have the chance at me again! Now I am scared to tell my primary doctor, afraid of being dropped, he didn’t do the procedure, the doctor that owns the practice did.

Comment from: Worried , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I had right side neck epidural steroid injection. As soon as the steroid went in, my right ring finger immediately felt pain and it felt like it was being shocked. Now after 3 days, my entire right hand, not in thumb yet, is tender and painful, like it is on fire. It is hard to grip, and painful to have water running on it.

Comment from: Washingtondc, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 20

I have had on going neck and shoulder pain for 5 years. Four to six discs are crushing. A fall in October in which I hit my head on our concrete steps and was hospitalized for 2 days, has increased the pain level and added numbness and tingling to my left arm. Nothing was really helping. I was taking a lot of Vicodin and could not work. About a month ago I got off the heavy pain medications and sought out having the epidural steroid injection. I had one 2 weeks ago. It did help a bit and I am thinking on having one more.

Comment from: swtbitc4, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I am on round two of having epidural steroid injections on my lower back. I had 3 injections over 6 years ago and got great pain control from them, now 6 years later I seem to be back to square one. But I have chosen to try the injections again because I had so many years of minimal pain from the last set.

Comment from: lannie91, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 08

I have been having bulging discs at several levels in my neck for over a year now. I had physiotherapy last fall when they put me in traction and it didn't help. I am going to get my first epidural injection this week and am in a new type of therapy. My pain is getting worse daily. I'm tired of not being able to do more physical activity because it makes the pain worse.

Comment from: Lillyal, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

I had my first lumbar epidural injection today, and chose to have sedation before the procedure, however the nursing staff didn"t start the IV soon enough and literately started the IV about 2 minutes before the procedure and needless to say, I felt everything and didn"t get any result from the sedation. On my way home I was out so yeah, not too good for me and now 11 hours after I"m experiencing more intense pain than before the procedure. Hopefully it will get better soon.

Comment from: Tina, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

When I get an epidural injection I am asked if I want IV sedation which I always opt for. I don"t feel a thing. In the past I have had a doctor hit the nerve and I almost jumped off the table. Ask for IV sedation, you won"t go wrong!

Comment from: Scared, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I have been having numbing, loss of feeling and tingling in both of my legs for about 1.5 years. Doctors concluded it’s due to two pinched nerves in my left and right toes. No medication has eased the pain. On February 26, 2014 I am having the Epidural Steroid Injection, first shot in a series of 3 in the next 6 weeks.

Comment from: Fireofficer 1996, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 20

I had epidural steroid injection on Feb 17, 2014. Today the 18th I am feeling a lot less pain. Hope this continues. I had pain for over 10 years from MVA.