Feb 15

Are Epidural Steroid Injections the Answer for a Disc Herniation?

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Just yesterday, a workers’ compensation client asked my advice on whether she should have epidural steroid injections (ESI) or surgery for her back pain. Because I have a JD after my name and not a MD, I recommended that she research both recommendations and talk to her doctor and friends and family about it. Then, today, I see a new article addressing the use of epidural steroid injections for back pain in Medical News Today.

The article examines research presented at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine which concluded that the use of epidural steroid injections may be a more efficient treatment option for lumbar disc herniations. “Our study showed an 89% success rate in athletes returning to play after suffering an injury during practice or a game,” commented lead author Aaron J. Krych, MD, from the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “These injections are a safe initial therapy in athletes that do not have neurological deficits, allows them to participate effectively in physical therapy sooner, and can significantly reduce the time a player misses.”

Lumbar disc herniation is a back injury common in sports such as football, which involve direct contact and sometimes jumping or twisting motions. Discs can also be herniated after a car accident, motorcycle crash, work injury or other trauma.

However, ESIs may not be the only way to address or treat a disc herniation. As pointed out by the researcher, “While we are excited to see the positive results with this treatment, it cannot be viewed as a cure-all,” cautioned Dr. Krych. “At the end of the day, certain injuries will still require surgery and long-term recovery.” Chiropractic care and also noninvasive modes of treatment have also proven to be helpful in the treatment of a disc herniation.

If you or a loved one has suffered a disc herniation, consult with your doctors about all the alternatives for treatment of the herniated disc. Surgery may be required, but you should explore other treatment as well.


Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those who sustain disc herniations and other injuries from car accidents, motorcycle crashes, workers compensation claims and other personal injuries. His Clearwater personal injury law firm–Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes–has been caring for clients since 1955. Click here to schedule a free case consultation with Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes.

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