This is a rare complication that may occur if a small hole is made in the fibrous sac and does not close up after the needle puncture. These small holes are only made in less than 1% of epidural injections and usually heal on their own. The spinal fluid inside can leak out, and when severe, the brain loses the cushioning effect of the fluid, which causes a severe headache when you sit or stand. These types of headaches occur typically about 2-3 days after the procedure and are positional - they come on when you sit or stand and go away when you lie down. If you do develop a spinal headache, it is OK to treat yourself. As long as you do not feel ill and have no fever and the headache goes away when you lay down, you may treat yourself with 24 hours of bed rest with bathroom privileges while drinking plenty of fluids. This almost always works. If it does not, contact the radiologist who performed the procedure or your referring physician. A procedure (called an epidural blood patch) can be performed in the hospital that has a very high success rate in treating spinal headaches.
Steroids are used to fight inflammation and speed healing. For injuries, this treatment may be a good idea, but for most back pain scenarios, I always ask, where is the inflammation? As Dr. Sarno has pointed out time and time again, there is rarely evidence of any inflammatory process in the majority of chronic pain complaints. Even in cases where inflammation exists, steroids are not a very good option, since they are often completely ineffectual or only provide short term benefits, sometimes only due to the placebo effect.
Hi Matron....yes the Steriod can be circulated throughout your body, via your blood stream....Our muscles are supplied with blood, which absorbs the steriod, and will automatically tranfer it to other parts of body. My rhuematologist has said that she can inject upto 3 points in one session, with a few weeks/month break in between. By administering an injection into the Gluteal Muscle (bottom muscle), which is one of the major/largest muscles, with the most blood supply, could be the answer to a faster/more diverse result.....also the more you have (or in my case at least), the lesser the effect, so perhaps, if you widened the time-span, you may also get a better result....it has been over 12 months since I have received an injection, but have also not needed an injection into the points of previous injections...making me feel that the steriod has assisted in the healing of these joints. I am now considering the need for a steriod injection into my R) Facio-maxilla joint, as it has been very tender over last few weeks (have seen dentist and awaiting results of x-ray, but was told by same dentist about 5 years ago, that this site is affected by arthrites)...Hoping this gives you food for thought. Bron