Injections for back pain linked to meningitis outbreak says the NY Times. Safer methods that should be tried first.
by William D. Charschan DC,CCSP author Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain.
Epidural injection for lower back pain and sciatic pain has been heavily promoted by pain management specialists for years as a way to relieve the problem. Even though just a small percentage of those who undergo this series of three injections get relief, many try this out of desperation because their tolerance of the pain has led them to someone who gave them hope or their surgeon suggested this was a away to possibly avoid going under the knife. With injections into the spine comes risks, even though this is less risky than back surgery. The idea is to bathe the nerves in the medication to decrease the pain. This recent problem with Meningitis resulting from these procedures has been thought to be caused by a contaminated steriod drug used ( read about it here).
Many people are turning to chiropractic as a more conservative and cost effective way to handle the problem of back pain. Back pain is a hugely expensive problem in the United States, with Epidural injections costing tens of thousands of dollars to inject a site of pain, without working on the mechanism behind why you may be hurting. In our offices, we have many people who have tried epidural injections and then visited us to avoid surgery. The truth is, it is the mechanism behind back pain that is the problem, however people do not feel the mechanism, they feel the pain and they want the pain stopped.
Sometimes you need a body mechanic to look at your body mechanics and connect the dots as to why you hurt, rather than doing things only to where you hurt; after all, pain is a symptom but to many, appears to be the problem. The NY Times reported years ago that we are spending billions of dollars in back pain treatment that has no long term effect. Perhaps this is because the treatment is geared to where you hurt and not why. This is still true today. There are many promised made by technology which fail to help people stay out of pain because technology alone is not the answer to why people hurt, body mechanics is.
A good place to start is by looking at the entire body, not just the lower back. Classically, all doctors (chiropractors included) are trained to medically diagnose with many of orthopedic and neurological tests which tell doctors what the problem is, or perhaps these tests just tell us where the lesion is, and nothing about why problem now exists.
This may sound confusing but it really isn’t. The book, Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain, explains why traditional medical diagnosis, with MRI, neorologic and orthopedic tests will only take us so far, because the true problem of why you hurt is not explained by that test in the majority of cases. If a lesion does exist, the more important question is why. Treating the lesion, whether a disc or other lesion (other than something life threatening like cancer for instance) can take a long time to get results and the problem often returns later on as well as other problems that may seem like your body is falling apart. First the lower back, then the knees, then the neck, shoulders, etc. Looking at the person allows us to figure out the mechanism behind all of this, and once it is solved, many of these problems may never be a problem in the fist place.
What about the pain you are having now? If you solve the mechanism, in most cases, you not only feel and function much better than you would have with just doing your Pilate’s, yoga, exercises, gym, etc, but you will find you can do much more without worrying about exacerbation’s.
Chiropractic is a great start for most people with back problems because chiropractors look at the whole person. In our office, we begin evaluating from your feet. To many people surprise, we find that they way they walk determines the way they function and the problems that can occur from this type of body style. Before resorting to risky medical procedures that are expensive and in many cases, non curative, visit us first. Since most people improve markedly, you will be back doing what you did before and understand why you hurt, so you can do a better job taking care of you, and the other family members that not only look like you, but also share many of your other inherited traits as well.