One of the most common reasons behind a large number of people visiting their doctors is back pain for sure. Doctors have long used steroid injections as the most important treatment for all sorts of short-term back pains. Steroid injections are most effective and useful for people suffering from radicular pain. This is a type of pain which is caused by herniated disk, starting at the spine and then radiating to the arm or the leg. Relief from this kind of pain is generally temporary. Apart from this, injections for this type of pain must be limited to not more than two to three during a year. According to experts from various Dallas pain clinic, they are still apprehensive about the usefulness and the effectiveness of steroid injections for various other conditions. This is due to the fact that research results by way of clinical trials tend to be inconsistent.
The Nature of Relief Provided by Steroid Injections
There are a very small number of scientific studies conducted in regards to steroid injections. The ones that have actually been conducted have not produced high quality and good results. This is the reason why there is a complete lack of strong recommendations on the use of these injections. According to The American Academy of Neurology steroid injections have a very limited role to play in offering short-term relief from lower back pain radiating down the leg. These injections do not ensure long-term relief from lower back pain. The academy has also pointed out that the relief provided by these injections is quite small and it lasts only for two to five weeks post the injection.
Side Effects of Steroid Injections
Studies have proved the fact that steroid injections for relieving lower back pain might result in rare but severe adverse events like stroke, loss of vision, paralysis and even death. The results of these studies have also been supported by the US Food and Drug Administration. As per FDA, the drug labels of steroid injections need to carry a specific warning which describes the risks involved in using these injections.
Gauging Major Risks Involved with the Use of Steroid Injections
There are rare complications of using steroid injections but they can sometimes cause:
- Steroid flush which is flushing of the chest and the face with a warm feeling.
- Sleeping difficulties
- Water retention
Severe adverse effects tend to be rare but these can genuinely include bleeding, allergic reaction, infection and nerve damage. Since there are certain complications involved with the use of steroid injections, people must refrains from the use of these injections, including the ones who:
- Take blood-thinning medicines
- Suffer from bleeding disorder
- Suffer from uncontrolled blood pressure or diabetes
- have congestive heart failure or unstable angina
- Have some form of active infection
- Are allergic to contrast dye, anesthetics and steroids.
According to pain management Dallas, people suffering from acute or chronic back pain should consider taking a sensible approach when trying to use steroid injections for alleviating their pain.