As a general internist and primary care provider, I have to say that it is well-known by PCPs and specialists that epidural injections are not effective for chronic low back pain. In 15 yrs of practice I can’t recall a pain specialist recommending ESI for back pain alone. Epidurals are often quite effective for radicular pain to the lower extremities. Sometimes the pain never returns. Other times it lasts only months but allows a patient to avoid surgery or high doses of pain medications. If partial or temporary effect is achieved, then I see them offer a second injection which is often more effective or longer lasting. I don’t recall ever seeing an interventional pain specialist give 3 injections when the first 2 were ineffective. I have seen many patients benefit. I’ve seen a much smaller fraction get no response. And though I know there are rare potential adverse effects, none of my patients have suffered any other than temporary soreness at the injection site or temporary elevation in blood glucose levels in diabetics (which can be easily managed).
Medicine is the application of current scientific knowledge to unique individuals. As such, it is imperfect but it is introspective and always adapting, growing and learning. It is unfortunate that investigative journalism, while serving an important function, has to sensationalize and divide to get the attention amidst all the other clamor. The mistrust that is engendered towards physicians in general is not constructive.
An example is those books titled “What your doctor doesn’t want you to know about… ” Really?
Please. We are all patients. Our loved ones are patients, too.
This is awful,and you need to understand that it’s not you. My belief from what you described is there is real damage to you cord, muscles, and nerves at the location. I personally went in for a C4-5 bone graft, and was woke with a C4,5,6,7 cage installation, 2 different neck cuts to access the site, and in pain as if the surgery was still being 4th day of refusing to leave,unable too. On 5th day I was able to stand and walk loaded with alot of IV pain discharged me that evening, 9 days later I barely made it in for visit,4 weeks later i found myself being dismissed when unable to walk, speak, lose control of my urine. In short it was the beginning of nothing else I can do, to i won’t see you again, and had me removed using the police. This was back in Dec3,2013, now I’ve got narrowing of the spinal cord at every level of the c2,3,4,7, now same at the L1,2,3,4,and S1. Since this I’ve been provoked to no pain meds, always u need pain pump,i injections, and suffering until insane. If I had the chance to go back in time, I’d went to assisted living where they had to manage the pain, and rest until I got better. In short I went to Florida, done nothing but rest for 7 months before I got to this point of variable pain. They are slow killing is, and don’t care what you go through as they dont even remember you doctor visits. It was hard to except. My point is, Everytime I listen to them instead of my body, I was just a pitiful mess. You need to get with the best spine people and pray they can fix it, but don’t worry about getting back to normal or even the simplistic things as it will take you back to hell and it takes longer Everytime you have flare it up. I laid like a vegetable for 18 months before I figured it out. Now I’m in bad shape and they are offering only injections, I’m thinking really hard, shame they are not made to get you better. This is what’s going on with society today, they’ll have to answer one day. But you make sure your not stubborn like I was and demand treatment it takes and the proper care. I’m praying for you, and I hope we get this country on the right track again as well as the compassion for others comes back