More Evidence Mounts that Steroid Epidural Injections have Significant Side Effects

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steroid epidural side effects

More evidence mounts that steroid epidural side effects are significant and consequently, this has been a horrible several months for epidural steroid injections. There have been several studies showing significant bone loss due to the high dose steroids, others showing a stark increase in bone osteonecrosis with oral steroids, used as well as the NECC compounding tragedy. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, a new study was just published that shows the extent of the whole body side effects that can be caused by steroid epidurals. The study demonstrated that the epidural steroids suppressed the brain loop that allows you to normally respond to stress and inflammation (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis) for as much as three weeks after a single shot! This is really concerning as these injections are commonly used every week for three weeks. Suppression of this brain function negatively impacts the body’s energy reserves, ability to handle stress, as well as it’s ability to regulate the hormonal and nervous systems. It can also have profound impacts on modulating immune function. Particularly with chronic (long term) stress, suppression of these interconnected functions can lead to compromised health and disease, and greater susceptibility to illness. The upshot? More reasons to avoid steroid epidural injections!

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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