RangelMD had a really good post on the topic of epidural spinal injections. Of course, we all know about the contaminated vials of steroids which have caused numerous cases of fungal meningitis along with numerous deaths. RangelMD believes that, in general, corticosteroids are used too often to treat back pain. This treatment involves injecting the steroids in the space between the spinal cord and the membrane covering the spinal cord, the dura. It is a commonly held belief that back pain is often caused by localized swelling due to “protruding disks or degenerative changes.” However, there is no good evidence to suggest that steroidal treatment is an effective long term solution for back pain. The author states that some of the reasons for the prevalence of this procedure includes the fact that physicians get paid more for invasive treatments than for conservative ones, and that the general public believes that invasive procedures are more effective than noninvasive ones. However, “conservative treatment such as a guided physical therapy program has been shown to be effective for the long term reduction in chronic back pain.” One thing which RangelMD didn’t mention is that our society demands immediate gratification, and that perhaps people are looking for a quick fix rather than putting the work to gain the long term benefits of physical therapy. Personally, I would do a lot of research before undergoing a procedure such as this, because, as we all know, even simple procedures can have dire consequences.Furthermore, I am all for therapy if it is an option.