While I cannot give you advice on what to do, being that I am not a doctor and do not play one on TV, I can share experiences from my work in the long term disability field.
I have seen mixed results with these injections. Those that are successful in their rehabilitation (back to activities of daily living, not lifting weights) combined the injection with targeted rehabilitation. That being said, the injection forced them to take down time. So, which helped more, the down time, or the injection? We don’t know.
My advice would be to seek multiple opinions and a definitive diagnosis prior to undergoing a procedure of any kind. Abide by Dr. McGill’s protocol of avoiding pain triggers, desensitizing yourself and moving like an athlete. Grab a copy of Back Mechanic for the complete guide.
Back pain is not a death sentence as long as you manage it correctly.
DD is right. No one here is qualified to answer that. You’re likely going to get a lot of different answers from even those that are. It’s something that you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons with whomever you talk to that is qualified to do them.
You’re also correct in that they will only mask the issue. If you do decide to go that route, make sure that you utilize the time when/if you feel better to do the appropriate things alleviate what might be causing the issues to begin with. All too often I see folks get relief but do nothing during that time to really correct the underlying problem. Be sure to have a clear plan with your doc on which direction you’re headed.
Honestly, this is a question that no one on our team is qualified to answer for you.
My advice would be to read literature around epidural injections and their safety and efficacy; as well as discussing this with your physician. Don’t be afraid to seek multiple medical opinions! A pain doc will have a different perspective than an interventional radiologist who has a different perspective than a surgeon and so on.