Epidural Injections Not Effective for Back Pain

Epidural Injections Not Effective for Back Pain

Epidural back painEpidural steroid injection, a common non-surgical treatment of low back pain, appears to  be on the rise in the US and UK.1-2  Yet the efficacy of epidural steroid injections remains controversial. Some patients do report pain relief in the short term, but the long term benefits of injections are contested. 

A new study examined the effects of epidural steroid and saline injections in 133 patients with low-back pain. The patients had suffered from low back pain for over 12 weeks.  Participants were given one of three treatments: steroid injections, saline injections or  placebo injections. After 6, 12, and 52 weeks, there were no significant differences among the groups in terms of patients' pain, quality of life, and disability. Epidural steroid and saline injections were therefore not effective for low-back pain relief in this study. This led researchers to conclude that epidural steroid and saline injections should not be recommended to patients who have had low-back pain longer than 12 weeks.

"This study is very important when we talk to our patients who have low back pain," noted Hans-Christoph Diener, a  neurologist at the University of Essen in Germany. He contended that although this procedure is non-surgical, it can still be invasive. "Our advice should be to stay with conservative treatments like regular exercise, physical therapy, and if necessary intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and behavioral therapy." Chiropractic is a much better, natural approach to relieving back pain without any of the dangerous complications of epidural injections.
  1. Price C, Arden N, Coglan L, Rogers P. Cost-effectiveness and safety of epidural steroids in the management of sciatica. Health Technol Assess 2005;9:1-58,iii.Quoted in Iverson, et al.
  2. Friedly J, Chan L, Deyo R. Increases in lumbosacral injections in the Medicare population:1994 to 2001. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2007;32:1754-60.Quoted in Iverson, et al.
  3. Iverson, Trond, Tore Solber, Bertil Romner, Tom Wilsgaard, Jos Twisk, Audny Anke, Øystein Nygaard, Toralf Hasvold, and Tor Ingebrigtsen. "Effect of caudal epidural steroid or saline injection inchronic lumbar radiculopathy: multicentre, blinded, randomised controlled trial." BMJ. 2011; 343. d5278 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d5278.
  4. Diener, Hans-Christoph. "Low Back Pain: Time to Put Down the Needle?" Medscape. October 21, 2011. Accessed January 3, 2012. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/751916
  5. Posted in back painBack Pain Newsback pain treatmentepidural steroid injectionlow back pain

Tagged as back pain, charlotte chiropractor southpark 28209, epidural steroid injection, low back pain.

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Why Chiropractic is the Best Solution for Sciatica Pain

Sciatica and chiropracticSciatica and chiropractic
Sciatica pain is often so debilitating that it forces people to miss work and other normal activities.  Of all patients with low-back pain, sciatica patients have the highest level of disability (1).  In fact, patients with sciatica are disabled for an average of 72 days according to Norwegian public-health records.
Fortunately, a recent study offers hope to sciatica patients: chiropractic care can speed the recovery from sciatica flare ups and allow patients to return to work sooner (2).

The study evaluated 44 Norwegian workers after they came to the hospital with severe sciatica pain. Most of those patients had been experiencing pain for three or more weeks prior to their hospital visit.
The hospital chiropractor examined each patient to evaluate his/her posture and gait, range of motion, and palpation of the lumbar spine.

The chiropractic then performed various joint adjustments to the spine and other limbs that had been injured through patients compensating for pain. Ice treatment was also used to relieve soft tissue soreness.Patients were treated daily in the hospital and later three times a week for the first two weeks. Some patients needed additional follow-up treatment but typically did not exceed 14 treatments.

In matter of 21 days, 91% of patients returned to work full-time. Two patients returned to work part time. Researchers concluded this study demonstrates the potent benefits of collaboration between chiropractors and orthopedic surgeons. Chiropractic care can put an end to your sciatica pain so you can begin living your life fully again.

Posted in chiropracticChiropractic NewsSciaticasciatica treatmentUnderstanding Sciatica
  1. Arana E, Marti-Bonmati L, Vega M, et al. Relationship between low back pain, disability, MR imaging findings and health care provider. Skeletal Radiology 2006;35(9):641-7.
  2. Orlin JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30:135-139.