Post-Procedure & Follow-up Instructions
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Day of the Procedure:
- It is recommended that you lie down and rest at home for at least 2 hours immediately after the procedure.
- Plan to rest and relax for the first 24 hours after the injection in a reclined position.
- Limit walking or sitting to 10-20 minutes at a time.
- You may resume all medications as previously prescribed.
- You may remove the dressing/band-aid later that night.
- You may apply an ice-pack to the injection site for up to 20 minute intervals as needed to reduce discomfort.
- Avoid Heat to the injection site for 3 days.
- Typically, most patients get satisfactory relief of post-procedure discomfort with Tylenol, Advil or Aleve.
- Prescription medications are not typically required for this procedure, but can be called in (during business hours) to your pharmacy if necessary for severe pain.
- Do not drive on the day of the injection.
Resuming Work Activities:
- The majority of patients can resume work 1-3 days following the injection. Majority of patients return to work the day after the procedure. A work excuse can be provided upon request.
- Limit lifting to 5-10 pounds for the first week and then increase as tolerated.
- Limit excessive bending, twisting, reaching, climbing or crawling for 1 week.
Resuming Physical Therapy:
- Formal Physical Therapy may resume or begin 1 week following the procedure.
- Therapy should focus on gentle stretch exercises and massage initially.
- No chiropractic manipulations, decompression therapy or inversion traction for 2 weeks following the procedure.
- No exercise for 5 days after the procedure.
- If still having pain at 5 days, do not begin exercise until pain free for 2 straight days.
- When beginning exercise, low impact activities are recommended, including stationary bike, elliptical, swimming, and walking.
- Avoid any running for 2 weeks after the procedure and progress slowly from a walk to light jog to run as tolerated. NOTE: Running is a high impact activity and places 3-4 times your body weight on each leg at impact causing significant stress on the discs. Up to 80-90% of the running population reports back pain at some time during their training. So, proceed with caution.
- You may return to light stretching and light weights at 1 week following the procedure, with great care to avoid lumbar stressing exercises (i.e. squats, lunges, clean and jerks, military press).
Following your procedure, Dr. Downey’s plan for you is:
If not improved after one week, then call the office at (205) 271-6511 to schedule a repeat injection or office visit.
Common Side Effects:
- Increase in normal pain for up to 1 week
- Restlessness/nervousness for up to 3 days
- Low grade fever (<100 degrees)
- Increased appetite
- Increased blood glucose (sugar) levels in diabetics (please monitor closely)
- Flushing / redness for up to 3 days which improves with Benadryl
- Increased water retention (mild swelling in the hands or feet)
- Steroid headache which can last up to 1 week
If you experience any of these common side effects from steroid injections there should be no cause for concern.
Rare Side Effects:
- Redness, swelling or drainage at the injection site
- Fever above 100.4 degrees with chills
- Severe positional headache that improves by lying down
- An increase in numbness or weakness in the arms or legs
- Changes in bowel or bladder function
If you experience any of the rare side effects after your injection, please call the office at (205) 271-6511 where Dr.Downey will be notified.