/2012/04/IMG_1554-300×225.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”225″ />After what feels like forever waiting for improvement for my hip pain (six months without training and counting), I finally got to see a doctor about a more aggressive treatment option. I met with a pain medicine specialist about getting a cortisone shot in my back, to alleviate the pain associated with a slipped, dessicated, and slightly torn disc.
I feel pretty confident going into this procedure, meaning that I’m not worried about the risks. My doctor said he had performed over 15,000 of these, and the risks are the same as those associated with a spinal epidural associated with labor. I figure these are done every day in every city all over the country, so I’m no guinea pig.
I’m not quite as confident that the treatment will alleviate my pain. My doctor said at one point that “everyone has slipped discs, but not everyone experiences pain.” By the same token, the cortisone shot may or may not get rid of my pain, especially in the short term. His best assurance was that it would speed recovery. Here is how he illustrated it to me: For those patients with my (very common) back problem, a follow-up in two years will usually show that the same number of people who improve with surgery will improve without surgery. That is, time usually heals all, and some interventions like physical therapy, cortisone shots,
chiropractry, and stretching, if given enough time, will appear to “work.”
The doctors have no way of knowing if I’m one of those people who will respond to therapeutic intervention (cortisone shots, surgery, chiropractry, etc), or whether I may just need more time. All I can say is that I am truly hopeful that my pain symptoms will one day go away.
To view coach Lesley’s previous post, click here.
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