Chiropractic Beats Epidural Injections for Disc Herniations

herniated-discFDA warns against the use of epidural injections

The FDA issued a warning earlier this year about the use of epidural injections, stating that “Injecting corticosteroids into the epidural space of the spine has been a widespread practice for many decades; however, the effectiveness and safety of the drugs for this use have not been established, and FDA has not approved corticosteroids for such use”.

Even Consumer Reports Magazine has reported its skepticism on using epidural injections for long-term success, stating that “Our analysis of the evidence, based on a recent report by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and several published reviews and treatment guidelines, suggests that while the shots might have limited value by providing short-term relief to some people, in most cases people should try other measures first.”


Study demonstrates how chiropractic is more effective than epidural injections

In contrast with the lack of success of epidural injections, a recent study was published in the Journal of Manual and Physiological Therapeutics demonstrating how much more effective chiropractic treatments were for disc herniation.

Researchers from Switzerland compared the effects of chiropractic treatments and epidural injections. The study included 102 patients with MRI-confirmed lumbar disc herniation.  These patients were were were treated with either chiropractic treatments or epidural injections.

After one month of treatment, both groups experienced significant improvements. Of the patients under chiropractic care, a whopping 76.5% said they were “much better” or “better” compared to only 62.7% of epidural injection patients.  Additionally, 60% of chiropractic patients had a significant reduction in pain compared to only 53% of epidural injection patients.

Even more noteworthy was the fact that none of the chiropractic patients needed to have surgery, while three of the epidural injection patients eventually underwent low back surgery, even after having gone through treatments with epidural injections.


Other Medical Experts Agree

The results of this study are no surprise to those in the medical community.  ”The vast majority of patients with their first episode of lower-back pain or sciatica will be better within four to six weeks with conservative treatment alone,” says Richard W. Rosenquist, M.D., a professor of anesthesia and director of the pain medicine division at the University of Iowa.

After consulting with other experts in the medical profession, Consumer Reports Magazine has said “because of the limited known benefits of the shots so far and the potential risks, our consultants say it’s best to try noninvasive measures first.”

And a Cochrane review of studies focused only on back pain (not radiating to the leg) concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the use of any type of injection therapy for pain that is only in the lower back.


Treatment for Disc Herniation in Augusta GA

If you live in Augusta GA and suffer from back pain, contact our friendly staff at Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic for a complimentary, private consultation.  With our back-pain-specific treatments, we have significantly helped a range of back pain sufferers with their condition.  If you would like to get started today, call our friendly office at (706) 814-5053 or schedule your appointment online.  We look forward to seeing if our results-oriented treatments are the right fit for you and your condition.


The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.

Augusta GA Chiropractor Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic provides customized chiropractic care. Visit our main website at for a chiropractor in Augusta GA and a chiropractor in Evans GA that specializes in customized treatments.

You can schedule your appointment by calling our friendly staff at (706) 814-5053 or use our online form.