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Posted in: Pain management.

steroid epidurals for L4-5 stenosis- causing weight gain?

Started by Fran from Boston on 11/01/2011 1:13pm

Hello all.

I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in April, 2010 and started steroid epirudals 11 months ago which bring some relief. I get the shots every three months and am able to get significant pain relief for about 8-9 weeks before the pain returns. I feel like my entire body bloats up (from inflammation) until I get the shot then everything seems to calm down. This pattern keeps repeating itself every few months except for the fact that I feel like my body is getting bigger w/o any clear reason why.

Is this due to the steoid injections?

I am a very fit 56 year old female used to strenous exercise. I am careful about my diet, have been watching my diet and exercising for 25 years.

Any advice for how to reverse this w/o giving up the shots? Is it really pain relief vs. feeling fit and strong?
Doctors have no advice for people with stenosis who want to maintain their fitness and nutrition.
Fitness trainers need to have specialities in functional movement training or PT backgrounds if they are to help people with stenosis. Even then, it's very hit or miss.

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3 Responses


There are special Yoga classes/instructors that specialize in spine care. Ask about there certification before taking a class. I'm a daily lap swimmer. I've gotten to know many of the other swimmers that go around the same time as I do and about 75% of them all have/had back issues. I warm up with deep water slow motion running. Do 4 slower warm up laps of back stroke and free style. Then I stretch, then swim about 1 mile. Cooling down I get a kickboard put it infront of me in the deepend and just let my legs hang, you can almost feel the vertabra sighing. With the kick board still in front i raise my knees close to my chest. I know swimming has helped me to keep the supporting back and core muscles strong. Had a nasty early snow storm in NJ last week and the YMCA where i usually swim has been without power so its been about a week since i swam last. I'm hurting way more now and I beleive its from not being able to get in a pool.
I had the same kind of bloat when I had 3 steroid injections. Drinking A LOT of water helped some. Ask your Dr if a diuretic (water Pill) would help. The shots didnt work for me so the bloat is no longer an issue
good luck ! Denice
2009- lumbar fusion L4 L5 S1 double discectomy, triple laminectomy w/fixation of 6 screws and 2 rods
now--failed back surgery syndrome


PS I use the Total immersion technique when i swim. No twisting at your waist while strengthning your core.
copy and paste this,

best of luck !


Thank you, Denice!