Steroids shots tied to bone loss in ageing women
Post-menopausal women, treated with epidural steriod shots for relief from backache, suffered significant bone density loss in their hip, says a study.
Bone density loss after six months was six times greater when compared to the typical bone density loss seen in a year in a post-menopausal woman who doesn't receive steroid injection, according to researchers.
An epidural shot involves the passage of painkilling drugs into the small of your back via a fine tube, numbing the concerned part and providing you with effective pain relief, the journal Spine reported.
Shlomo Mandel, a Henry Ford Hospital orthopaedic physician, who led study, says physicians should exercise caution prescribing an epidural steroid for select patients, suggesting that multiple injections may compromise bone strength, according to a Henry Ford statement.
"The findings of our study suggest that epidural steroid injections for back pain relief should be approached cautiously in patients at risk for bone fragility," Mandel said.
Backache is one of the most common medical conditions, affecting eight out of 10 people at some point of their lives. As people age, their spine ages with them, causing degenerative changes in the spine.
Patients are typically treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. If symptoms persist, an epidural steroid is often prescribed to alleviate pain and improve function. However, steroid use has been linked to diminished bone quality.