Discussions By Condition: Nerve conditions

Nerve root injections

Posted In: Nerve conditions 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • November 4, 2006
  • 03:39 AM


About 3 years ago I had a bad burning and numb spot behind my right shoulder and the Dr. ordered an MRI for my C spine. At the time I was 27 years old and was expecting it to turn up nothing and be normal. The results showed that I have degenerative disc disease, all disc's are slightly bulged and arthritis in one area that was putting tension on a nerve that was causing the burning and numb spot. I was pretty well shocked at this and he sent me to pysical therapy and oral steroids. It never did get any better.

I'm now 29 and about 3 months ago I started getting sharp pains that shoot up from the back of my neck all the way up to the top of my head and the same type of sharp pains in my arms (mainly my left) and hand. Muscle twitching in my both my thumbs (but mainly my left thumb). I saw my family Dr. about 3 weeks ago with the problems because I can't stand them anymore or the headaches they produce! The Dr. ordered another MRI that I had done 4 days ago to compare and see if my problems have become worse. I don't know the results yet. He also talked about nerve root injections. I have always had problems with needles that have to go further in than a normal shot. He said that the shots are not as bad as it sounds because they now give you a local anesthetic, but for some reason I don't believe him and the anesthetic shot has to go into the same area, so what's the point of having it? I guess I'm a little scared if he wants to have me get one or more.

So, my question is, has anyone had these shots? How bad are they really? Pain wise? Is it worth it?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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2 Replies:

  • I have had similar pain for the last two years. Shooting, sharp, or dull pain in my left neck shooting up to my head. The diagnosis in my case was Occipital Neuralgia which is a severve inflammation of the C2 and C3 cervical nerves. This is usually treated by a Neurologist/Anesthesiologist trained in pain management.I have had many injections of various sorts including steroids, pain killers such as lidocaine, novocaine, BoTox, etc. Most recently, I have had radio-frequency ablation treatments which is a fancy name for injecting a needle into the affected nerve and heating it for 90 seconds which destroys its ability to transmit pain. How long will the treatment last? Depends on the patient. A few are cured, most get significant relief for periods of 6 months to 2 years. I'm ready to go back for another treatment of nerve heating.Yes there is pain even though a local anesthetic is given. Too much anesthetic cannot be given because that would deaden the nerve being treated so the physician wouldn't know if he's in the right nerve. The pain is tolerable because you know you're going to get some relief and because the treatment lasts only for a few minutes. I think it's worth it but unfortunately for me, the relief doesn't last long enough, only about 5-6 months.I don't know where you are located but you need to see a specialist such as I described above at a well known, legitimate Pain Management department. The best are associated with hospitals, especially medical school teaching hospitals. My treatment takes place at the University of Maryland Medical Center at their Kernan Hospital in west Baltimore.Don't dwell on the pain, dwell on the results. After being in almost constant pain for some 2 years, I really don't care how much it hurts, I'll try anything.Best wishes and I hope you find a satisfactory treatment.Charles R Gaush, PhDcrgaush@myactv.net
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 5, 2006
    • 00:18 AM
    • 0
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  • I have 2 herneated discs in neck, I had alot of pain. I wore collar and took pain meds and muscle relaxers. I finely quit working and took the meds as often as I was supose to, got a cylinder shape memory foam pillow. I now have very little pain in less I stay on computor or turn my head to much.
    tam4givin 19 Replies
    • December 7, 2006
    • 08:17 AM
    • 0
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