Popular pain shots may be linked to paralysis and death. Some 8.9 million Americans received the steroid epidural shots last year to help them get rid of neck and back pain. But did the injections work?
Or did the shots paralyze some people, and if so, how many? The point is that steroids are a booming pain market in the US. These are about the boom in epidural shots, which take minutes to administer and bring doctors profitable reimbursements from Medicare and private insurers.
See the articles, Epidurals Linked to Paralysis Cloud Pain Market- Bloomberg, and Epidurals Prompting Paralysis Seen Tied to $300 Billion Pain. Also see, Spinal Injections – Epidural Steroid Injection – Back Pain. In the lengthy article, you can read about a man who’s nearly blind and in a wheelchair. The story goes the man went to a hospital for a shot of steroids to ease pain in his neck but suffered a stroke during the procedure.
A surge in steroid injections to alleviate back and neck pain in the U.S. is bringing with it an increase in severe and unexpected complications, including paralysis and death. Reports of the side effects have prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review the safety of steroid injections into the epidural space near the spinal cord, in consultation with an advisory group, the agency confirmed.
Steroid shots have become the most popular way physicians in the U.S. treat neck and back pain, according to research studies. Are patients becoming paralyzed or dying from the the use of particulate steroids, a form of the drug that is slow to dissolve and may create blockages that trigger strokes if accidentally shot into arteries?
According to the news article, Epidurals Linked to Paralysis Cloud Pain Market- Bloomberg, particulate steroids include Kenalog from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) and Depo-Medrol from Pfizer Inc. (PFE), as well as generic versions of the two. So who is actually reading the labels which say the drugs are not indicated for epidural use?
Some patients have had problems of paralysis from injections for backpain. Symptoms include weakness, loss of sensation, and other problems possibly due to air entering a patient’s spinal chord during the injection. Older people taking blood thinners can have even more complications. Or doctors may not be required to have special training to give such a shot. The public doesn’t suspect because they trust their healthcare workers.
What if someone trained one weekend and gave you an injection the next day? It’s a new skill. How do you know a mistake won’t be made on you? Medicare patients receive a certain type of epidural shot for pain in a doctor’s office more than any other setting, according to a 2010 audit by the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found a third of the shots didn’t meet Medicare requirements, 13 percent because they weren’t medically necessary and the rest when providers submitted bills that lacked documentation showing why the shot was needed or when the procedure was improperly coded. In some cases, according to the audit, multiple shots were given in close intervals with no evidence they were relieving pain, according to the news article, which was reprinted in the December 29, 2011 Sacramento Bee on page D1.
According to the article, Epidurals Linked to Paralysis Cloud Pain Market- Bloomberg, and Epidurals Prompting Paralysis Seen Tied to $300 Billion Pain, guidelines for pain management from the American Society of Anesthesiologists make no mention of how many shots are appropriate.
You could take a look at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, which, according to the news article, actually warns patients that shots are usually restricted to a few annually because steroids can weaken spinal bones and nearby muscles and upset the natural hormone balance, leading to potentially serious medical conditions. Worried about side effects? Maybe some types of neck and back pain can be helped with exercise and a change of nutrition.
Did you ever consider an infected root canal with an inflammation point at the upper tip possibly could be causing certain types of neural tube pain in the lower back or joints? Think about it and do your research before you reach for a quick-fix pain-killer shot, if you can.
The risk of side effects may increase with the number of steroid injections, the clinic warns on its website. Some patients complain of kidney failure after receiving steroid shots for pain through epidural injections. Also, how many veterinarians say they’re reluctant to inject steroids into dogs with arthritic pain? Think about it.