Chiropractic care has long been the subject of studies that show it to be an effective treatment for chronic low back pain. However, few of these studies specifically focused on the comparison of chiropractic spinal manipulation treatment for the low back to epidural injections for disc herniation. How does Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections?
Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections: How Does a Chiropractor Use Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections?
Have you been advised to have lumbar epidural steroid injections, also called LESIs? Primary care providers, chiropractors, or other specialists may suggest these injections to ease back pain.
Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections: When do Chiropractors Recommend Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections?
Have you been advised to have lumbar epidural steroid injections, also called LESIs? Also, primary care providers, chiropractors, or other specialists may suggest these injections to ease back pain. Let’s break down the term:
- Lumbar – Low back
- Epidural – Around the “dura mater,” the tough membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord.
- Steroid – Cortisone, which has anti-inflammatory properties
- Injection – Introduced to the body with a needle
What Does the Research on LESIs Say?
You may have heard these injections called a “shot in the back.” Furthermore, you may wonder what they do. Would a chiropractor advise such a treatment? Let’s look at some research:
Increased Fracture Risk
A study published in the June 2013 issue of Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery states:
“Each successive injection increased the risk of fracture by a factor of 1.21….”
“The findings suggest that LESIs … may lead to increased bone fragility … suggesting that the use of LESIs should be approached cautiously in patients at risk for osteoporotic fractures.”
Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections. They have known for a long time that steroids make the bones weaker. This research adds to our knowledge. As a result, you may want to consider safer options for a herniated or ruptured disc, sciatic nerve pain, low back pain, or spinal stenosis.
Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections: Research
Researchers conducted a study to compare the effectiveness of epidural injections to chiropractic care for the treatment of back pain associated with disc herniation. It found that chiropractic care was not only just as effective as epidural injections but that it was also cheaper with a lower risk factor for troubling side effects. These results are good news for people who suffer from lumbar disc herniation, which causes chronic lower back pain. Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections! Moreover, by choosing chiropractic care over epidural injections, patients with herniated discs save on health care costs while reducing the pain they experience with the same level of efficacy. As a result, Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections.
The new study included 102 patients with confirmed disc herniation. While chiropractic beats epidural injections with a success rate of about 14 percent higher, this was deemed insignificant. Yet, where chiropractic care won out over epidural injections was at a patient cost, with a monthly rate of treatment at $558 vs. $729.
Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections: Temporary Relief on Injections
According to the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, December 2004:
“While 50-75% of patients with leg pain received temporary relief after lumbar epidural steroid injections, only 25-57% received excellent long-term relief. Generally, patients who received little relief from their first injection received little benefit from a second or third injection.”
Also, the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, March 2004, says: “Lumbar epidural steroid injections provide 32% of patients sustained relief.”
Chiropractors realize the limitations of lumbar epidural steroid injections.
How Do Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections Work?
You probably have a lot of questions about the LESI injection. For example, do these shots:
- Heal a herniated disc?
- Cure spinal stenosis?
- Heal the sciatic nerve?
It turns out lumbar epidural steroid injections don’t do any of that.
Instead, the shot dries up inflammation. Many people take steroids by mouth for the same reason: to reduce swelling.
In the spine, you can think of inflammation as a watery fluid. Moreover, you can’t compress a liquid. So, when there is inflammation or fluid around tissues, the fluid causes increased pressure, when you put pressure on inflamed spinal tissues, pain results.
To understand why lumbar epidural steroid injections fall short, consider these experiences:
A patient has a herniated disc. Abnormal spinal biomechanics are part of the cause. What happens to this patient a few weeks after getting a shot? As you may have guessed, the pain returns. What about a patient with spinal stenosis? Sciatic nerve pain? A ruptured disc? The pain also returns. As a result, Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections. Also, the same stress that caused the problem reappears, so symptoms return. It doesn’t fix the spinal biomechanics. Most studies show only short-term or partial relief with lumbar epidural steroid injections.
When is an LESI Usually Recommended?
Advice about lumbar epidural steroid injections varies with the specialist you visit. Your primary doctor, for instance, might give you medications. Anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, or pain pills are the usual options. What if the pills don’t work? The doctor will then suggest an injection.
These treatments tackle inflammation, but not the cause. Only a chiropractor can address the root cause of the inflammation. That is why Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections. Chiropractors never recommend an injection as the only therapy. They know studies show a reduced long-term success rate with a shot alone. Instead, they treat spinal biomechanics at the same time for better results.
How Does Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections and Address Spinal Biomechanics?
Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections because chiropractic care differs from the standard medical model. First, a chiropractor thinks about what to avoid, such as:
Long-term use of opioid prescription painkillers – While you may need meds for the short term, chiropractors discourage long-term use. These meds can be addictive.
If you do not respond well to treatment, they may give you a shot of epidural steroid injections. Treatment then continues, which works better once the inflammation dries up. Shots alone, however, show only a 15% long-term success rate. It is why they don’t begin treatment with an injection.
Surgery – While chiropractors do all they can to avoid back surgery, most people think it is a quick fix. That’s not true, however. The British Medical Journal stated that people who had surgery and those who did not feel about the same after 1 and 2 years. Why go through the risks, downtime, and expense of surgery for the same results? Keeping these cautions in mind, chiropractors provide many other treatments.
What Treatments Do Chiropractors Provide?
A visit to a chiropractor is similar in many ways to see a medical doctor. First, you will provide a complete history. Next, you will get a thorough exam. Thirdly, they will also order any needed imaging, then come up with a diagnosis.
Chiropractors can develop a treatment plan, which may include:
- The Cox Technique – This is a gentle, painless, hands-on spinal decompression therapy. It boasts a 91% success rate and is a great way to improve spinal biomechanics.
- Electrical stimulation – Pain is controlled, and inflammation decreases using this method.
- Massage Therapy – Massage breaks up adhesions and loosens scar tissue. Also, it relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, and improves posture.
- Vibration Therapy – It is a therapy that targets core strength, balance, and posture. So you are likely to improve three to four times faster than with traditional rehab.
- Super Pulsed Laser – Increased cellular energy and better circulation speeds soft-tissue healing.
- Custom Orthotics – Correcting foot biomechanics helps align the feet, knees, hips, pelvis, and lumbar spine. As a result, there is less stress on the spinal discs. Foot biomechanics improves spinal biomechanics.
- Rehabilitation (Exercise) – First, chiropractors use gentle stretching and pain-relieving exercises. Then you will progress to core-strengthening and full-body workouts.
- Spinal Bracing – Limiting movement of the trunk adds stability. It, in turn, helps you take part in more daily activities.
If you have a herniated disc or sciatic nerve pain, you will usually improve by 50% in the first 2 to 4 weeks of care. Chiropractors will then continue to treat you if you have improvement. Also, Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections. What if you don’t improve? In that case, chiropractors will consider an MRI or consult with other doctors. Chiropractors may consider a shot at this point to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
We hope you find this article helpful. Follow us on social media to learn more about Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections for Disc Herniation
El Paso West Texas Chiropractic Center
907 Chelsea St. Ste. E,
El Paso, TX 79903
Phone: (915) 562-5700
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