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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Epidurals For Back Pain – Risks and Side Effects

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 @ 01:41 PM

epidural shots for back painMany people suffering from back pain turn to epidural shots. An epidural steroid injection is a cortisone injection used to treat inflammation around the spine. Be sure to use epidural shots with caution. They tend to only relieve symptoms for a short period of time (lasting from a week up to a year). It is estimated that they help relieve the patient’s pain only about 50% of the time. The success rate varies depending on the condition and the degree of the condition the patient has. There is a lot of skepticism about the effectiveness of the injections and if it is appropriate to inject some patients. There are several side effects and risks associated with epidural injections.

Side Effects of Epidural Shots:

      • Anxiety
      • Cataracts
      • Facial flushing
      • Fever
      • Headaches
      • High blood sugar
      • Increase of back pain
      • Nausea
      • Severe hip arthritis
      • Sleeplessness
      • Stomach ulcers
      • Vomiting.

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Potential Risk of Epidural Shots:

  • Temporary numbness of the bladder and bowels.
  • Nerve Damage. This can occur from direct trauma from the needle, from infection or from bleeding.
  • Infection. Recently there have been reports of steroid injections being associated with the outbreak of meningitis across the United States.
  • Dural puncture (“wet tap”). This is a headache that occurs after a lumbar puncture that most likely occurs within the first 3 days after the shot. In rare cases, a blood patch may be needed to alleviate the headache. Visual changes, photophobia, and auditory changes, including tinnitus, are not uncommon.
  • Bleeding. Although rare, this is common with patients with underlying bleeding disorders.

It's very important to carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of long-term epidural steroid injections. Are the risks really worth the short-term relief if any at all? At the Illinois Back Institute our treatment works to make your back healthier without surgery, injections or medications. The treatment that Dr. Jeff Winternheimer and the Illinois Back Institute have created is called Functional Disc Rehydration. Functional Disc Rehydration works toward relieving the pressure off the disc by allowing the nutrients to flow back into the disc. In the meantime, the supporting muscles are strengthened and reactivated to help the spine become stable once again. We find the cause of your back pain and repair the damage. This is the long-term choice to solving your back pain.

If you are suffering from: Back PainDegenerative DiscHerniated Disc, Neuropathy, Bulging Disc, Hip or Knee Pain, Stenosis, Arthritis, Sciatica, Neck Pain, Arm Pain, Muscle Weakness, You have nothing to lose but your pain!

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Topics: Functional Disc Rehydration, Back Pain, treatments for back pain, relief of back pain, epidural shots for back pain