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Steroid shots for back pain

For years now as back pain has become a debilitating problem, the medical community has relied on Epidural Steroid Injections or ESI’s.  Despite the fact that Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs) have never been FDA-approved for spinal use, they are currently the most popular treatment of lower back pain in the U.S, performed nearly 9 million times a year.  Yet there are growing rumblings among the public and professional community alike, culminating in a widely-discussed Dr. Oz “investigative journalism” show on ESIs in May of 2013.

As Dr. Oz discussed, possible side effects of ESIs include thinning of the skin, easy bruising, weight gain, puffiness of the face, acne, elevation of blood pressure, cataract formation, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), and a rare but serious type of damage to the bones of the large joints (avascular necrosis- where the blood supply is lost to the bone and it dies).  Moreover, adverse effects of corticosteroid injections for plantar fascitis include fat pad atrophy, plantar fascia rupture, local skin effects and steroid flare.

Thankfully, these growing concerns with ESIs are yet another reason patients are turning away from these invasive procedures and may be more open to holistic joint and pain treatment, like that offered by Chiropractic. One of the therapies we wue are custom-made orthotics to help support and cushion the feet, the primary shock absorber, as an option for patients unwilling to go under the knife (or the needle).  Chiropractic care and the use of custom-made orthotics also tend to be less expensive than surgery or injections, with fewer side effects.

Safer and potentially more effective with no side-effects.  Sounds like a better option to try first?

Yours in Health,

Dr. Philip A. Mahan. D.C., C.C.E.P.

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