Chronic Pain and Cortisone, Part 2


If you have not yet read Chronic Pain and Cortisone, Part 1, please do so now.

When it came time for Dan to head to the fitness center, for my second post-cortisone trip (6 days after the injections),  I chose to stay home and enjoy my still-increasing soreness.   But I felt a bit guilty and thought I should at least do something to continue forming a habit of making fitness a priority, so I vowed spend some time with wiiFit.

And I did.

For all of 60 seconds.

I don’t know what happened, but standing on the wiiFit board aggravated my back almost instantly.  It was all I could do to gut out the body test… 100% of my pain returned, instantly.  I tried to ignore the discomfort and play some games, but I couldn’t see straight.

You know the feeling… Your vision blurs.  Your hearing fades.  You feel paralyzed… Incapable of breath, movement, and thought.

After collapsing back onto the couch, I opened the draft I had begun prior to dinner, and prior to my wiiFit fiasco, and started typing:

Nevermind what I said.  This is far too early to be passing judgment regarding the effectiveness of cortisone shots as treatment for my chronic pain.  All I can say is what I know:

  • Cortisone shots are common.
  • Cortisone shots feel strange.
  • Cortisone shots made me hurt for two days.
  • Cortisone shots relieved my pain for five days, until tonight.

Beyond these simple statements, I cannot say much.  But, you know me… Give me time, and I will give you an honest opinion based on personal experience and research.


Now, three weeks after my first experience with cortisone injections, and two weeks since I wrote the above, I am back to share my experience.

While the cortisone injections helped reduce my back pain, I feel a bit hung up on the fact that I am treating yet another symptom, while the cause (known or otherwise) continues to exist (I assume).  Maybe I should not be so quick to write off the benefit?  The injections did break a season-long cycle of pain.  And I firmly believe that is a necessary step in eradicating pain… teaching your body not to hurt.  Call me new-age or crazy, but I’m right.

In closing, to be honest, I don’t think I will get these shots again.  I appreciate the pain relief and can’t imagine what I would have done without it, but the cortisone didn’t fix the cause, so when I lift things, bend just right, or sit for extended periods of time I still hurt.  I do not want to grow dependent on just relieving pain.  I want to heal.  I want to get well.  And, after researching cortisone, I don’t want to put anymore in my body.  I find no fault with those who get regular shots, I can’t blame them.  The relief is noticeable and has drastically increased my mobility and endurance.  However, I fear the side effects.

Having said that, I admit I can imagine a day, not long from now when I remember just how badly I hurt and just how much relief the injections provide, when I will retract this goal and make a return visit to my orthopedic doctor.

In the mean time I am pursuing another route through recovery to wellness.  More on that, to come.

3 Responses

  • Tricia on August 2, 2009, 12:00:10

    Thank you. I am so sorry that it didn’t work for you. I have read many blog posts from people like us and everyone pretty much has the same story. They are in a lot more pain for 2 days after the shots and they don’t work for long.

    I won’t bother trying it.

    Good luck.

    Reply to Tricia
  • Liz O. on August 12, 2012, 14:15:48

    Hi, thank you for putting your experiences with FMS on a blog. I am relatively new to FMS, and this is the first year I’ve tried meds; muscle relaxer at bed time and trazadone to help with nerves/sleep aid.

    Although I’ve tried various things like massage which I love (I’ve found a great therapist, but pricey), I periodically take a pain killer (I hate these and am always reading, looking for an alternative), I think I may ask my dr. about Cymbalta or something similar for daily pain management.

    The only thing I’ve done that has helped with my energy level, and with pain is a B-12 shot, which I am deficient in anyway. Have your dr’s every suggested this?

    Anyhow, I don’t have a routine yet, but after reading your blog and some others, I am trying to create one for myself. I also thought the way you record your pain and activity levels was a great idea. I will start doing that. Thank you! I hope your healing process continues to improve, as well as for everyone out there with FMS.

    Reply to Liz