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Posted on 07-17-2014

Consider Chiropractic Care Before Steroid Injections For Back Pain

As a Baltimore Chiropractor that treats a lot of patients with neck and back pain, typically following auto accidents or work related injuries, I often see patients who have had a history of chronic recurrent neck and back pain. In many instances they have gone to their primary care providers, been given pain medications, tried physical therapy and STILL they have back pain. In these instances their primary care providers will usually refer them to a pain management clinic. These clinics are becoming more and more popular. The typical form of treatment in these clinics are "injections" into the spine. They will inject the affected areas with corticosteroids to try and help with inflammation and decrease a patient's level of pain.

A recent warning was issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 23, 2014 that warns of the use of these injections for neck and back pain. They stated that the injections may cause rare but serious adverse effects, such as loss of vision, stroke, paralysis, nerve damage, and even death.  You can click on the link to read the warning here: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm394280.htm.

While the use of these epidural corticosteroid injections is very common, the FDA has not approved the use of corticosteroids for injection into the epidural space (the space surrounding the spinal cord within the spinal canal) to help with neck and back pain. Because of the FDA's recent report the Public Citizen's Health Research Group now designates steroid injections as "do not use" drugs for neck and back pain.

This group suggests that the use of over the counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen along with exercise, physical therapy, and spinal manipulation by a chiropractor may provide more effective relief of pain with less adverse reactions.

Simply put exercises, physical therapy, and spinal manipulation are at the core of our offerings at Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic. If you were considering epidural steroid injections for neck and back pain and would like to try conservative care before more invasive care, please contact us at (443) 842-5500. We would be glad to help!

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