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Research Confirms Steroid Injections Are Not a Long‐term Back Pain Solution

A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine* confirms that steroid injections can only give temporary relief to sufferers of low back pain and sciatica. Investigators from France focused on 135 patients with back pain who received initial relief from their pain after a single steroid injection. However the randomized controlled trial showed the effect decreased over time and at twelve months, there was no difference in pain levels between the control group and those who had received the corticosteroid shot.

Dr. Byron Schneider, of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, noted there are many different causes of back pain. In this study, the patients suffered from chronic back pain, he pointed out. “Patients with chronic lower back [pain] probably have more than one cause of their pain, which may be why the good results they found at one month weren’t there a year later,” said Schneider, an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, this category of patients has often exhausted conventional physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and pain medication‐ which bring the risk of addiction and other serious health concerns. This can lead to a sense of hopelessness, desperation and, of course, surgery.

For some patients, surgery is appropriate‐ once all other conservative means have been pursued. “For chronic pain, physicians need to address the musculoskeletal reasons that cause the hurt, but also other reasons that patients may be experiencing pain,” Schneider said.

More and more spine specialists (medical, osteopathic and chiropractic) are offering IDD Therapy® oscillation decompression, a means of circumventing the surgical route utilizing a computer directed treatment device that performs targeted segmental mobilization. The system delivers gentle, highly accurate dynamic energy to the spine which helps restore normal spinal function, increase hydration of the disc and in many cases can retract a disc bulge (as seen in post-treatment MRI’s).

IDD Therapy® treatment provides primary care providers another resource for their patients in need of back pain relief and can help them to return to their former activities they once thought they could no longer do.

*Nguyen C, Boutron I, Baron G, Sanchez K, Palazzo C, Benchimol R, et al. Intradiscal Glucocorticoid Injection for Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain Associated With Active Discopathy: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med.2017 Apr 18,166(8):547-556.

The above blog was written by our colleagues at Disc&Spine Center, they are the leading Atlanta area non-surgical treatment center for spinal disc injuries.Their treatment can improve disc metabolism and provide neuromuscular re-education to soft-tissue structures.Call 404-843-3040 and review your case with Dr. Miller!

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