The Risks and Side Effects of Epidural Steroid Injections

Back pain can be debilitating and frustrating, especially if it doesn’t respond to conventional treatments or lifestyle changes. As a result, some people seek more aggressive interventions, such as epidural steroid injections (ESIs), to alleviate their symptoms and improve their function. However, ESIs are not without risks, side effects, and limitations. Our goal is to inform and empower you to make an informed decision about your health and explore alternative options that may suit your condition.

Epidural Steroid Injections are Not FDA Approved.

ESIs are classified as “off-label” therapy, which means they are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating back pain, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease. While some doctors may still recommend ESIs based on anecdotal evidence or personal experience, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that ESIs are safe, effective, or appropriate for these conditions. The FDA warns that ESIs may cause severe adverse events, such as nerve damage, infection, stroke, and death, and may lead to other complications, such as bone loss, fractures, and vision problems.

Epidural Steroid Injections Can Further Injure Your Spine.

Even if you don’t experience immediate complications from ESIs, such as bleeding, infection, or nerve damage, the long-term effects of repeated injections can be detrimental to your spinal health. For instance, ESIs can weaken your bones, increase your risk of fractures, and impair your ability to heal or regenerate tissue. ESIs can also suppress your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections, allergies, and autoimmune disorders. ESIs can also elevate blood sugar levels, leading to diabetes or metabolic disorders. Moreover, ESIs can mask or exacerbate the underlying causes of your back pain, such as poor posture, muscle imbalances, or spinal misalignments, by numbing your nerves and reducing your awareness of your body’s signals.

Epidural Steroid Injections Don’t Treat the Cause of Your Pain.

ESIs only address your back pain symptoms, not the root causes. ESIs aim to reduce inflammation and swelling around your nerves and discs by injecting a combination of steroids and local anesthetics into your epidural space, a narrow channel surrounding your spinal cord and nerves. While this may temporarily relieve your pain, it does not address the underlying issues contributing to your back pain, such as poor ergonomics, weak core muscles, or spinal misalignments. ESIs can make it harder for you to identify and correct these causes, as they may give you a false sense of security or improvement.

Epidural Steroid Injections May Worsen Your Condition.

ESIs may also lead to a vicious cycle of pain and treatment, where you keep getting injections to manage your symptoms but fail to address the real problem. This can lead to a dependency on ESIs and a delayed or missed diagnosis of the underlying condition. Plus, ESIs may interfere with other diagnostic tests, such as MRI or CT scans, by distorting or masking the imaging results. As a result, you may end up having unnecessary surgeries, procedures, or medications that do not address the root causes of your back pain or may even worsen your condition.

We understand that you may have received unsuccessful attempts at finding a solution for your medical condition from doctors, therapies, and treatments. At The Nerve & Disc Center, we offer a 100% non-invasive, safe, and highly effective Disc Healing Solution, which appeals to those who seek answers beyond injections and surgery.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

Our innovative treatment program triggers the body’s innate self-repair mechanisms to address the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms. This taps into the natural healing process, leading to better conditions and a genuine sense of wellness. Our approach offers fresh hope for those who suffer from chronic pain. Contact The Nerve & Disc Institute today to schedule your free consultation today.