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The Advantages and Risks of Steroid Injections for Back Pains

Author: Aaron Gibson
by Aaron Gibson
Posted: Jan 11, 2017

Back pain is one of the many reasons why local residents are searching up on the services offered by a reputed Orange County minimally invasive spine surgeon. When it comes to pain relieving, epidural steroid injections have been a subject of frequent debate- especially in relieving excruciating pain. Here is a list of all benefits offered and risks imposed by steroid injections for back pain, for readers to make a sensible decision.

About the Injections

Epidural is a type of steroid injection to relieve back pain. Typically, the injection is prescribed and administered by a health expert in order to treat the pain arising from a herniated/slipped disk. Even then, the relief is temporary. As a result, physicians only prescribe two to three steroid painkiller injections per year for patients.

To be fair, medical experts are not quite sure how effective these injections are in the longer run. This is because all clinical findings are inconsistent and subjective, as they take individual medical histories into account.

2014 Ruling

American Academy of Neurology (AAN) issued several guidelines to define the use of steroid painkillers for back pain. These guidelines recommend that steroid injections can play a vital role in providing relief to lower back pain that radiates leg-down on one side. The relief, however, is temporary and lasts for about six weeks (varies from patient to patient).

In a ruling by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2014, companies were directed to issue injectable corticosteroids with a warning sign. This is because the FDA believes that injection of the same steroid into the epidural space can result in adverse health effects.

Benefits of Injections

Except in the case of fungal meningitis outbreak, the results of steroid injections to relieve back pain have been promising. This invasive painkiller is generally safe to use and offers little to no side effects. It relieves pain and soothes brain and allows a person to recover.

Various research papers have questioned the efficiency of steroid injections for the treatment of sciatica. However, it is worth noting that none of the companies, medical experts or state institutions has forbidden people from using it.

If you’re suffering from herniated discs or sciatica, it is best to consider invasive techniques for pain treatment instead of relying on inefficient non-invasive practices. It is best to consult your physician, discuss your medical history and then make an informed decision about using or not using the steroid.

Risks of Injection

Although steroid injections are free from harm, they may produce a few undesirable effects in some people. This holds true for those patients already suffering from a medical condition, prior to being diagnosed with herniated disc or other backache causing problem.

Steroid flush is a common side effect. It occurs when the chest and face feel warm and the body temperature slightly increases. Mild nausea and headaches may also occur. For the first few nights after the injection application, the individual may have trouble sleeping and suffer from insomnia. Anxiety and diarrhea may follow.

It is strongly recommended that you consult your doctor one the benefits and risks of steroid injections for back pains, before making any final decision.

About the Author

Aaron is changing the way spinal surgery is done. He is one of only five doctors to receive a significant grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH). Consult with the best Spine surgeon los angeles today.

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Author: Aaron Gibson

Aaron Gibson

Member since: Apr 06, 2016
Published articles: 13

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