Epidural Injections for Back Pain Cause Fractures
A study at the Henry Ford Hospital found that epidural steroid injections for back pain increased the risk of fracture by 29% with each steroid injection. They compared 3000 patients with severe back pain who had at least one injection with 3000 control patients without an injection.
Steroids decrease absorption of calcium in the GI tract and increase excretion in the kidneys. This results in secondary hyperparathyoidism, decreased levels of estrogen and testosterone, which all predispose to bone breakdown and compression fractures.
Other alternatives should be considered to manage severe back pain that can include chiropractic, acupuncture, bodywork, imagery, infrared light therapy and much more. It is interesting that infrared light therapy accomplishes the same thing that an epidural injection does except it supports healing rather than suppressing it.