Although corticosteroid injections have been used for many decades to treat back pain, the effectiveness and safety of the drugs for this use have not been established, and at this time, corticosteroids are not FDA-approved for this use. In April 2014, the . Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the injection of corticosteroids into the epidural space of the spine may result in rare but serious adverse events , including loss of vision, stroke, paralysis, and death. According to the FDA, patients should discuss the benefits and risks of epidural corticosteroid injections with their health care providers.
Physicians limit the number of epidural steroid injections to a maximum of three to avoid systemic side effects of the steroids. Side effects are minimal and consist mainly of mild tenderness in the area of injection which disappears in 1-2 days. Success is dependant on the cause of the pain and how long the pain has existed. The sooner the treatment is instituted, the better are the chances of getting well. This treatment, along with analgesics and physical therapy has brought relief to thousands of patients, avoiding , in the majority of cases, the need for surgery.
I have a suspicion, after reading many of your notes on injectable steroids, that I seem to have developed a type of “tendonitis” in my upper arms due to multiple elbow steroid injections. I have had 4 in my left elbow (worst arm) and 2 in my right, about 5yrs ago. I have been having this tendon problem for about one year now, and not one doctor can figure out what’s wrong. One actually said “it seems like tendonitis”, but no cause or cure was suggested. The steroid injections is the only common denominator here. The right arm is affected as well, but not nearly to the degree of the left (and I’m right handed, so maybe the strong arm is less affected, plus I only had 2 injections there). Is there hope for acute tendonitis in my bicep/tricep area?