Back pain afflicts 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, a routine treatment for intractable back pain can make you much more likely to suffer osteoporosis. You must avoid this unwise therapy to keep your bones safe.
A study at Henry Ford Hospital shows that an epidural steroid injection for back pain relief makes postmenopausal women six times more likely to suffer a serious loss of bone density.
“The findings of our study suggest that epidural steroid injections for back pain relief should be approached cautiously in patients at risk for bone fragility,” says researcher Shlomo Mandel. “Physicians who do prescribe them should consider measures that optimize bone health such as calcium and vitamin D supplements and exercise as part of their patient’s treatment plan.”
If you complain to a conventional doctor about back pain, he will often treat you with anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. If your pain persists, he may recommend an epidural steroid. If you value your bones, don’t get that shot!
“Patients receiving multiple steroid injections with a history of steroid exposure may be especially susceptible to compromised bone strength,” Mandel says.