Hospital Exam Room

Part 3. The Best Back Pain Treatments-Spinal Injections Not Approved by FDA

Epidural Steroid Injection

Part 3. The Best Back Pain Treatments-Spinal Injections Not Approved by FDA

Overview of Part 1, Part 2.

Epidural steroid injection or ESI is two injection into the narrow space of the lower spine. The first injection is the local anesthesia injection and then the steroid injection. This treatment is not the best back pain treatments, and the FDA does not approve spine injection.

FDA warning that this type of treatment was never given approval and can do harm to the patient. This warning about the procedure has not been proven to be safe and effective.

This treatment can cause harm to the patient especially when the patient is suffering from the following problem conditions. Meaning if the patient suffers from one of these conditions they will be advised to get the ESI.

  • Sciatica
  • Stenosis
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative
  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs.


Three major pain societies condemn the use of ESI.

  1. The American Pain Society
  2. The Amercian Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
  3. The American Academy of Neurology.

They suggest the use of ESI is not worth the associated risk involved in the procedures. Also, this procedure should only be considered to prepare a patient for other treatments.

The treatment plan was if a patients show signs of pain radiating down the back of his/her legs, and then back up into the lower back area. These pain societies also suggest that trained, certified professionals perform the treatment in a hospital.


Youtube Video from the Dr. Oz show.

Pinned by The EDNC

The Arthritis Foundation also condemn ESI use.

The Arthritis Foundation also holds the view about the benefits and risks involving Corticosteroid use. They suggest you and your doctor will need to discuss these risks and benefits.

They also cite that the strong medicine can help you feel better quickly. However, the potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive come with a downside of side effects.

The side effects include;

  • Increased appetite, Weight gain, Stomach irritation
  • Blurred vision – Cataracts or glaucoma
  • Elevated blood sugar – High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Acne – Round (puffy) face
  • Easy bruising – Lower resistance to infection

The emedicine. research group endorse ESI use.

The research group Updates its findings in May o8, 2017.

Dr. Boging Chen, MD, Ph.D., and his research team endorsed ESI. Most are members of the following would also endorse the use of ESI.

  • The North American Spine Society
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research)
  • A Department of Health and Human Services (An integral part of the nonsurgical management of radicular pain from spine disorders)

They find that many study group patients associated with the proper medical procedures. Improved the health and lifestyle of a high percentage of these studied group patients. Moreover, explain the proper procedures in the ESI can provide diagnostic and therapeutic benefits.

Note: All others cite this same information but go on to look at the risk involved stated by the FDA. A bright and present danger when you and your doctor do not discuss those risk.

Dr. Chen agrees that these procedures should and will need to be performed by professionally trained, board-certified doctors in the spine treatment area. They suggested finding a doctor who is a license trained specialist in Neurology and or Anesthesiologist to performed ESI. Also, this treatment should occur in a clean sterile environment or a hospital.

The most common problem in lower back pain caused by spinal stenosis is relating to the inhibition of normal nerve root vascular flow of the nerve root nutrition. Here are a few of some of the issues with the damage to nerve root ending includes;

  • Nerve root edema
  • Nerve root dysfunction

Then the research shows that having the proper needle placement weight significantly on the overall patient’s health evaluation. Steps to take when given the anesthesia, first to see if the pain is decreased and second to see if other factors exist. Then the ESI and more assessment including breathing, lack of pain from that area and other factoring conditions.

The injection area has to be precise:


Having a guidance system into the spinal cord plays a significant role in preventing misfires and misplacement of the needle into the injection area. Having the proper guidance system will avoid a host of other problems including life-threatening problems.

  1. Fluoroscopic guidance
  2. Radio-graphic contrast
  3. will prevent misplacement or (misfires).

Blind injections resulted in 30 – 40% of needle misplacement, like the needle tip placement outside the epidural space. Alternatively, misplacement of the needle or put the needle too deep will have other disaster effects. It’s unknown how many of these displacements and misfires have occurred. No records are kept and have not been found or reported about the numbers of times this happened.

However, many people are coming forward and telling their story of a misplaced needle into their spinal cord. Moreover, understanding how their lives are forever with Chronic pain for those events surrounding this lousy procedure

Other people who were given the ESI and have had complications

Dennis Capolongo – with hip pain was given the ESI and run an Advocacy group called the End Depo Now Campaign. Capolongo “said in 2001, he was given ESI to treat his hip pain, the treatment inflamed his nerve, left him days in pain, hospitalized for weeks. Also, bedridden for two years. The pain is still there but no longer intense. “Report by, the NY Times,” tracking the meningitis outbreak in 2012.

Kathleen Ramey – In September 2000, she was involved in a car crash. She was seeking treatment at a Pain Management clinic. Dr. Weiss misplaced or misfired the needle in her spine causing a four-inch hole. The Florida jury award $36 million to her for the disfigured right arm.

My Life and Death Back Pain Decision

I’m not medically trained and have no medical training in this area. However, in 2012, after having a series of car accidents on in August 2012, a head-on collision.

Then a few months later the last car to get hit in a five-car pile-up on the freeway. My doctor diagnosed me with two bulging discs, sciatica and a herniated disc.





After the second accident, I’ve found myself unable to walk, sit, and sleep. My pain level was at a rate 10 and off the chart. I will always be in constant chronic pain and this continued into 2014.

I remember the doctor telling me that the only thing they can do for me, give me a cortisone shot in the lower spine. Plus, the doctors diagnosed me with two bulging discs in the lower lumbar region.

So, I ask the doctor is this the same spine injections that are killing people across the country, he said, “yes,” “but we don’t get our medicine from that supplier.”

The doctor never explains any other risk from ESI.

While going to therapy at a chiropractor, he also told me that the treatment is not working for me. He made some adjustments and asked if he could crack my back. I was not too fond of the sound of it, so I declined.

Then place on the disables list and only had pain management for help. I will have to be on pain medication for the next year and a half. Also, stopped taking the heavy medicine so I can return to work.

I still live with pain from my injuries and learn how to manage my pain and suffering.

These treatments below can help relieve back pain at home.

Doctors notice that most people who have back problems are Vitamin D deficient. They suggest taking the recommended daily allowance to build up your vitamin D levels.

Taking these vitamins will reduce inflammation and will help build stronger bones, help fight off other cardiovascular diseases. New information and research in the medical field happen all the time.

These researchers are finding out more about the vitamin D, and it should not the recommended choice of some doctors as the only source.

Doctors trained in the vitamin research explains it could lead to many problems taking vitamin D alone. These vitamins will need to carefully plan when you start a vitamin regimen with vitamin B and vitamin K.

Learning more about vitamin D will explain it’s not a vitamin at all. This vitamin can do more harm than good if you don’t follow the proper use of it. Getting vitamin D into your body from prolonged exposure in the sunlight can cause skin cancer.

Once we learn more about this vitamin and how to properly use it holds excellent benefits for our overall health. Moreover, improve the health of our loved ones, our families, and friends.

  1. Get vitamin D (ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level)
  2. Electroacupuncture (consult your doctor if you can try this treatment)
  3. Hot and Cold compress (talk to your doctor)
  4. Massages
  5. Chair massage
  6. Inversion table (check with your doctor)

Thank you, for visiting if you have any questions, or know of any other treatment options please leave them below.





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8 thoughts on “Part 3. The Best Back Pain Treatments-Spinal Injections Not Approved by FDA

  1. HI Carl!

    Great post indeed. Very nice explanation about the back pain treatment.
    Also, I like the design of the site. Clean and easy to read valuable content.
    Since I have also problems with a herniated disc in the lumbar area of my back (spine) this article is
    at the point for myself.

    Fortunately, my damage is not that heavy (the nerve is not in danger) so I don’t need surgery for my problem.
    I went to a chiropractor and he told me that I need to move, make exercises for it, and to take care of it.

    Because I am practicing sport, it is important for me to stay in a solid shape. Sometimes I feel pain in my right foot. I am getting used to it. I know few people they needed to go “under the knife” because of it.
    So, this article will help many people with similar difficulties.

    Thanks for sharing and well done.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story.

      I happy to hear you’re not going under the knife and your nerve root is not damaged. I hope you find a helpful solution to your foot pain, I know most pain can be difficult and we make an adjustment to deal with it. But, what if there were ways to repair all the damage done to our bodies every night when we sleep. That would mean no more pain and medication.


  2. I have had the steroid injections on three occasions. My doctor did tell me up front that it would help, make things worse, or leave it the same. For me, unfortunately, it has made is somewhat worse. But it has been 3 months now, and it does appear to be getting better. Is this the case for most?

    1. The experts believe this is normally the case for most people. They also cite that after a short period of time you will continue to need these injections every few months to relieve your back pain. I will suggest if you have not had your vitamin levels checked this would explain all the pain. Plus, not getting deep sleep to repair the damaged areas play heavily on the pain levels as well.

      Thank you, for visiting,


  3. hello there,
    very informative articles, I have back problems as well. I learned some things on your sight and will try some of your advice
    thank you for sharing

    1. Your welcome, I’m sorry to hear about your back pain and hope you find ways to relieve that pain soon. I will always ask next time you see your doctor have him/her check your vitamin levels. These vitamin levels play an important role in back pain for some reason.

      Thank you, for visiting,


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