• Mark J. Downey, MD & Alex Cotter, MD
    10 Old Montgomery Hwy #200. Homewood, AL 35209
    Appointments & Referrals: (205) 271-6511

  • Schedule Now

Post-Procedure & Follow-up Instructions

View Print Version

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.

Resuming Exercise:

  • 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, SpineGroup Alabama'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.


Need an Appointment?

Spine Group Alabama specializes in the treatment of back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, and all types of ligament strain related to the neck and low back. Spine Group Alabama is referred  back and neck pain patients from across Alabama, including Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Huntsville and Montgomery.

Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 8am - 4:30pm
Friday: 8am - 2:30pm
Saturday/Sunday: Closed
(205) 271-6511

Make an Appointment