Are Steroid Injections To Relieve Back Problems Worth It?


The question are steroid injections to relieve back problems worth it? has made many sufferers of spinal injury think twice before using them according to this article. However, the truth is that the problem relates to three batches of drugs manufactured by the same pharmaceutical company. Nevertheless, it is true that these injections are for specific types of soreness and only after initial treatment and precautions have been followed. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have made the situation more volatile by disclosing details of the numbers of people affected and those who have died while advising on what to do in case a person has already been administered one of the doses. Medical experts have opined that these steroid injections are only for those who have debilitating pain that travels right down to the legs.



Are Steroid Injections To Relieve Back Problems Worth It?

They can be given in tablet form or as an injection

The news about fungal meningitis from steroid injections has many back pain sufferers wondering if they should now avoid the shots entirely. Our medical experts say no: The deaths and health problems currently being reported are associated with three batches of the drug made by a single pharmacy. And steroid injections sometimes do seem to help relieve debilitating back pain. But our experts also caution that the injections should be used only for specific kinds of back pain, and even then only if a number of simpler methods have been tried first and failed, and if a number of precautions are carefully followed.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that as of Monday morning 200 people in 14 states have been found to be infected with fungal meningitis, and 15 have died from it. All of them were linked to a steroid product made by New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass. The CDC has an online map that shows the states affected and lists the clinics that received the contaminated product. The CDC also has advice on what people should do who think they might have been given one of the injections.


Our medical experts say that the injections pose other concerns, too, and offer limited benefits. “The vast majority of people with lower back pain don’t need the shots,” says Orly Avitzur, M.D., Consumer Reports medical adviser and neurologist. Their benefits seem limited mainly to people with lower-back pain that also travels down the buttock or leg, according to guidelines from the American Pain Society, the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, and the American Academy of Neurology.


And our analysis of the shots last year found that even in those cases the shots typically provide only short-term relief, and don’t do much to reduce the need for surgery or provide pain relief beyond three months. But they can help people through a particularly painful stretch, which might allow them to, for example, start an exercise program, or use them as a last-ditch effort to avoid surgery.


In addition, the shots can cause a number of side effects, ranging from minor and short-lived ones such as headaches and dizziness to rare but potentially deadly ones. Those include not only meningitis but also damage to the spinal cord, nerve injury, and an epidural abscess, which can cause incontinence, urinary retention, fever, and back pain.


For those reasons, our experts say that most people with back pain, including pain that radiates down the leg, should start with simpler measures.

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The benefits of steroid injections are limited to bring relief short-term. They do not help in eliminating the chances of surgery neither does it provide long-term relief. It can only help the sufferer tide over a critically painful period, or it can help in making efforts to complete exercises to avoid surgery. Besides, these injections can be a cause of side effects including fatal ones caused by fungal meningitis, nerve injury, epidural abscess, and spinal cord damage. It is advisable to start taking simple measures rather than worry about a miracle injection that could cure or kill, taking to gamble life and death perhaps. In case of back pain, you should maybe avoid wondering about are steroid injections to relieve back problems worth it?


A patient receiving a Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection to help treat lower back pain. Videos by



This is a video of Dr. Josh Levin, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, explaining spine pain, disc herniations and epidural steroid injections to relieve back pain.



Fellowship-trained physiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Heftler explains the use of steroidal injections to treat low back pain.





lower back pain



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