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Spinal Epidural and Fibromyalgia
5 Replies
Kvasconez - November 28

I LOVE this site and have pointed probably hundreds to it for info on Fibro.

Now, I have a question. I have cervical spinal stenosis and a herniated disk in my lower back. I underwent epidural injections of cortisone in my S-1 nerve on both sides of the spine. The procedure was excruciating, probably due to the fibro. While it did not help the pain caused by the fluid leaking out of my disk onto my nerves (doctor said it is like battery acid being poured on the nerves), it had an absolutely miraculous effect on my fibro. It feels like I went into remission for about two weeks...the feeling of the fibro is beginning to return. But for two weeks, I felt "normal" and did "normal things, including setting up the Christmas decorations, prepping for Thanksgiving. I was diagnosed with fibro on Oct 12, 2010, and frankly didn't know what a flare was because I was in excruciating pain 24/7, although the opioid therapy has been a God send. (I am on opioids for my chronic back pain, but it does help the fibro in spite of what doctors say.). I feel the fibro symptoms starting to creep in but I was giddy, hopeful, clear-headed and slept well, without napping for the two weeks. I am writing to see if anyone else has had similar results from epidural injections of cortisone or if this was just a fluke.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Very respectfully,



fibromite.u.k. - November 28

I think the relief from fibro that you have been feeling is more likely to be because of the steroid in your body rather than the fact that it has been by a spinal injection.

I am often given steroids in tablet form for my asthma, and when I am taking it and for a few weeks after that, I feel so much better and I get unbelieveable relief from pain. I have on occasion almost begged my doctor to give me a few days of steroids when I am having a flare up, but he has only done so on one occasion. I know it can be dangerous to have steroids in the long term, but I really can't see why I couldn't be given them on the occasions when my pain becomes unbearable. I have recently been on some steroid tablets, and only today, I can feel the pain beginning to rear it's ugly head again.

I will be interested to hear what other think about this.


Kvasconez - November 29

Thanks, Fibromite! Interestingly, I perused the treatment section of this ite after posting this. The nerve block describes exactly the procedure I had performed. I was having trouble walking due to the herniated disk, so this is one process they try that is relatively non-invasive. And, yes, they used a cortisteroid to reduce inflammation to the S-1 nerve, so your steroid theory makes sense. I posted my experience there under that treatment as well. Like you sy, at least you know how to address it when you have to be functional. Again, thanks so much for your quick response and insight! Have a great day!


Fantod - November 29

I have stenosis too with an anular tear that leaks disc fluid. The pain from that can be pretty terrible. Most people with Fibromyalgia (FMS) that are given steroids do feel much better. However, steriods depress the immune system. Unless it is absolutely necessary, long term steroid use is not recommended for people with FMS. We already have too many issues without adding a further compromised immune system.

Have any of your doctors ever discussed referred pain with you? It is possible that your back problems are creating fibromyalgia-like symptoms as opposed to actually having FMS. I'm just throwing this out there for consideration. Frankly, I'd rather have referred pain than FMS. I see a pain management specialist who has been more effective than anyone else in sorting this out. Unfortunately, I do have FMS on top of everything else.

Take care.


January - December 5

Interesting posts…. I was on oral steroids a LOT as a kid. I blew up like a balloon when I took them, and they made me very anxious and depressed (nice childhood). Their liberal use may have contributed to my developing osteopenia at a fairly young age, and to the fact that I got a lot of colds and flus (lowered immune system). Maybe they also made my spine brittle and vulnerable to the injuries I am now stuck with long term.

It's my understanding that steroids treat inflammation - which is not usually a factor in fibromyalgia (but might be in some). I've taken steroids again as an adult for various issues, and they hype me up - can't sleep, very nervous. My theory is that, at least for me, they give me the energy that is sapped by the fibro - on a much LOWER than normal dose, I feel better when I take them too!

It's interesting to hear that the epidural did NOT relieve your back pain… I've been offered those shots for years, and always say no because I don't like the risks involved, and from what I read, they don't help much. My lower back is a mess and always painful. The pain radiates down my legs.

Like you, kvasconez, the only thing that has given me good relief from ALL the pain I have, so I can live a somewhat normal life, is low dose opioid therapy. I tried the antidepressants which (for me) were a very long nightmare and did not help my pain. It's hard to find a doctor who will trust you to take opioids responsibly - and some go crazy if you even mention them - but they were the best treatment for me. I hope this option is kept open for people, and is not so stigmatized. I think Big Pharma is trying to demonize these pain relieving drugs so they can sell more antidepressants (talk about side effects and addiction!). Just my opinion… we're all different in terms of what works!


ajs4519 - December 13

I had two Injections in my Neck re this In 1996 Did not help Think It should be done using an xray no on me though think I many have been a trial one :-( Allan



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