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Lumbar Epidural Injection: Recovery at Home

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After a lumbar epidural injection, you don’t need to stay in bed when you get home. In fact, it’s best to walk around if you feel up to it. Just be careful about being too active. Even if you feel better right away, avoid activities that may strain your back. And follow up on all treatment with your doctor.

What to know about pain relief

Keep in mind that some people feel more pain at first. It usually goes away within a few days. You may also have headaches or trouble sleeping, but if these symptoms are severe, you should call your doctor right away. These should also go away within a few days. In general:

  • An injection to reduce inflammation takes a few days to work, sometimes even up to a week. There may even be more pain at first.

  • An injection to help locate the source of pain may give only brief pain relief. Later, you’ll feel the same as you did before the injection.

Tips for recovery

Whether you were injected for pain relief or diagnosis, these tips will help you recover:

  • Take walks when you feel up to it.

  • Rest if needed, but get up and move around after sitting for half an hour.

  • Don’t exercise vigorously.

  • Don’t drive the day of the procedure or until your doctor says it’s OK.

  • Return to work or other activities when your doctor says you’re ready.

When to call your doctor

Call right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain or headache

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

  • Fever or chills

  • Redness or swelling around the injection site 



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