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Epidural Steroid Injection: There is an Alternative

Epidural steroid injections (ESI’s) have become the standard treatment for nerve-related back pain - with some 9 million treatments being performed each year. Epidural steroid injections (ESI’s) temporarily stop irritated nerves from sending pain signals and reduce inflammation, and have seemingly become a “go to” for patients and physicians looking for solutions where a few Advil or physical therapy just won’t work.

But ESI’s aren’t necessarily the “silver bullet” they seem to be, since steroids offer no remedy for the actual cause of the pain, and have never actually been FDA-approved for spinal use. Continued steroid use can also weaken your immune system, trigger ulcers, bruising, weight gain, acne, elevated blood pressure, cataract formation, and even further joint and muscle pain. And in the best cases, steroids can only provide short-term pain relief, usually only lasting just one to three months. 

Growing worries over long-term steroid use, their side-effects, and the desire for long-term relief are just some of the reasons to forgo ESI’s and consider a more holistic joint and pain treatment, like those offered by chiropractic, acupuncture, laser, Graston and ART. Custom-made orthotics may also be an option for some patients, and can be very helpful for a variety of foot and low-back related ailments, like low back pain, hip pain, sacro illiac, and even neck pain and headaches. 

Fittings for custom orthotics, chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture and other treatments at Greenapple Sports and Wellness are far less invasive, are less expensive than surgery or injections and have fewer side effects. An assessment with one of our doctors can determine which course of treatment will best suit your particular needs.