As I have written a lot in these pages about lower back pain, its causes and cures, I feel compelled to address the current outbreak of fungal meningitis that has been linked to a steroid treatment for lower back pain. In this procedure steroids are injected into the spinal column to reduce inflammation and the accompanying pain. While these treatments do work to alleviate lower back issues they are only a band-aid offering a short-term relief of symptoms and are not a cure.
Meningitis, on the other hand, is a serious infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include headache, fever and nausea. Fungal meningitis, unlike viral and bacterial meningitis, is not contagious, but it can be deadly. So of today, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 285 people have contracted the diseases through tainted steroid injections in the lower back and 23 have died.
In my mind, whenever you inject anything into your spine you run the risk of infection or worse, yet the use of this procedure is skyrocketing. According to a report in Bloomberg, steroid shots have become the most popular way physicians in the U.S. treat back pain, with nearly 9 million people receiving injections for lower back pain in 2010. So it is no surprise that with the increased reliance on these injections to address lower back pain there has been an increase in severe and unexpected complications, including infection, spinal chord injury, nerve injury, and death.
So why not go with something that has no side effects nor poses any serious risks to your well-being? With a few simple steps you can be on the road to a full recovery. In my experience, the nature of most lower back cases is that they resolve quickly and easily by loosening up the muscles and changing the sitting position. Targeted stretching of the muscles of the back, such as that detailed in the video below, are also essential to a successful resolution.
If you are experiencing back pain and are seeking a long-term, no-risk solution we can help. Be proactive in caring for your back with with Dorfman Kinesiology so that you don’t even need to consider steroid injections. Remember steroids are a temporary fix and do not offer any long-lasting relief. Sit up straight, stretch, have a massage and you will feel better forever.