The recent meningitis dianabol steroids outbreak has caused a lot of attention to be given to the use of steroid injections for lower back pain management. Aside form concerns about insufficient regulation of compounding pharmacies like the one that distributed the tainted steroid, complaints from health professionals and researchers about the overuse of this unproven method of treatment have also been sounding loudly. Epidural steroid injections are generally seen as a short-term, unreliable method of back pain management.
There may be more concerns associated with these injections that have not been made public knowledge. For example, oral and intravenous steroids have long been associated with bone loss, but it wasn’t until recently that a link was established between injected steroids and bone loss. Researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital presented findings of a study they conducted to the North American Spine Society in Dallas this October which establish such a connection.
Osteoporosis, a disease characterized injectable steroids by the loss of bone density, commonly leads to bone fractures. Spinal fractures are the most common type among those with osteoporosis. The disease generally affects men and women over 50, and women are 4 times more likely to be affected. According to the American College of Rheumatology, osteoporosis-related fractures will affect 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 and 1 in 6 men.