Health Epidural steriod shots for relief from backache can affect bone density

Post-menopausal women treated with epidural steriod shots for relief from backache, suffered significant bone density loss in their hip, says a study.

Bone density loss after six months was six times greater when compared to the typical bone density loss seen in a year in a post-menopausal woman who doesn’t receive steroid injection, according to researchers.

An epidural shot involves the passage of painkilling drugs into the small of your back via a fine tube, numbing the concerned part and providing you with effective pain relief, the journal Spine reported.

Shlomo Mandel, a Henry Ford Hospital orthopaedic physician, who led the study, says physicians should exercise caution prescribing an epidural steroid for select patients, suggesting that multiple injections may compromise bone strength. Backache is one of the most common medical conditions, affecting eight out of 10 people at some point of their lives.

Patients are typically treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. If symptoms persist, an epidural steroid is often prescribed to alleviate pain and improve function.

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