Alternatives to Epidural Steroid Injections

Have you been told that you need steroid injections for back pain? If so, you’re certainly not alone – epidural steroid injections are often used for lower back pain, neck pain, and sciatic nerve pain. When injected into the problem area, steroids act as an anti-inflammatory to calm nerve irritation and reduce pain. However, there are concerns associated with their use.

What Are Epidural Steroid Injections?

Spinal discs have a soft interior encased by a more rigid rubber-like exterior. When discs herniate, or rupture, that soft interior is forced out through a tear in the rigid exterior. When this happens, it can irritate spinal nerves, causing numbness or pain in arms, legs, or elsewhere.

Epidural steroid injections (or epidurals) –  a frequent form of pain management for those suffering from chronic back pain – are the injection of steroids around the inflamed spinal nerve to reduce inflammation and numb pain. Such injections are usually administered to cervical or lumbar discs. While they can block pain, they are invasive and don’t provide a cure for the problem. Until that problem is fixed, the herniated disc will continue to apply pressure on the spinal nerve, and pain will usually return. Epidural injections also tend to have diminishing results over time, and steroids can actually cause further deterioration of the cartilage or bone.

 Risks From Epidural Steroid Injections

There are a number of reasons to avoid steroid injections, beginning with the fact that they are at best a temporary solution. In addition, the results are unpredictable – they help manage pain for some, but are less effective for others. There are other potential side effects and problems:

Are Alternatives Available?

  • “Steroid flush,” or flushing of the face and chest
  • Increase in temperature for several days
  • Anxiety and sleeping problems
  • Menstrual changes
  • Water retention
  • Nerve damage
  • Increased pain for several days after the procedure.
  • Infection
  • Faster progression of osteoarthritis
  • Joint destruction
  • Bone loss

Are There Alternatives?

Yes! Many patients experience genuine recovery with Spinal Decompression Therapy, a non-invasive treatment method that relieves pressure on discs and nerves by creating negative pressure within the bulging or herniated disc and gradually drawing it back into place. Best of all, Spinal Decompression Therapy actively repairs the problem, strengthening the ligament bands that hold disc material in place to prevent future recurrence of ruptures. Chronic neck and back pain caused by herniated and bulging discs, sciatica, radiating nerve pain, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease can all be treated non-invasively with spinal decompression therapy.

Don’t settle for a temporary solution for your pain and discomfort! Here at ProSpinal Reno, NV, we combine non-surgical Spinal Decompression with Deep Tissue Laser Therapy to provide highly effective, comprehensive spinal pain relief. Schedule a consultation with us today and get rid of chronic pain for good with these superior alternatives to epidural steroid injections.


Back Pain, cortisone injections, Neck Pain, Sciatica

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