Your exercises are completely based on your diagnoses and the procedures you undergo to combat the pain. One prominently used, non-surgical method is epidural steroid injections . The steroid is injected into the epidural space and decreases inflammation around the spinal nerves. If you are undergoing epidural steroid injections, you will want to take the rest day off for a little downtime to not cause unnecessary inflammation. After your brief resting period, you will want to resume normal, but not overly vigorous activity. It is best to start with walking slowly. For every 30 minute sitting period, you should take 5 to 10 minutes to get up and walk around. It may be uncomfortable at first, but if you stick with regular slow activity for the first day, you can build up to more activity.
What should I do and expect after the procedure?
You may have some partial numbness in your buttocks and/or legs from the anesthetic after the injection. This may last several hours but you will be able to function safely as long as you take precautions. You will report your remaining pain (if any) and also record the relief you experience over the next week in a âpain diaryâ which we will provide. *Mail or fax the completed pain diary in the envelope provided, so that your treating physician can be informed of your results and plan future tests and/or treatment if needed.
Side effects are rare, but fluid retention, insomnia, elevated blood sugar, bleeding, and infection have occurred. These side effects usually occur on patients taking strong anti-coagulants or blood thinners, or those with a high fever or an active infection. Diabetic patients will need to monitor their blood sugar before and after the procedure as steroid can cause blood sugar to rise. As long as a diabetic patient’s blood sugar is normal before the procedure and monitored after the procedure, the risk of a dangerously high blood sugar is low. During a selective nerve root block, a patient may feel pressure or sharp pain that radiates down the leg or arm. This pain is transient but can be significant. Other less common risks include increased pain, kidney failure, bowel or bladder dysfunction, paralysis, and death. Your physician should be notified if you are taking medications such as Coumadin, Plavix, Ticlid, Lovenox, Aggrenox, Insulin, or Metformin. Your physician should also be made aware of any allergies you have, especially if you are allergic to iodine or contrast. Notify your physician immediately if you have concerns about your condition after the procedure.