Beyond Meningitis—Why I Don’t Recommend Steroid Shots

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Chiropractic, Massage, Clinical Therapies, Prolotherapy, Acupuncture
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

As I’m sure you’ve seen in the news, there’s been a nationwide meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections. As would be expected, many people in the medical community have seized upon the opportunity to promote these pain-relieving shots.

But regardless of the unusual meningitis situation, I don’t recommend steroid injections. The reason is that these shots only help about half the people who get them and relief lasts a few weeks at best.

Instead, what doctors should be telling patients about are the natural and far safer ways to relieve pain:

  • Try prolotherapy injections, which don’t last weeks—but years. This therapy targets the bands of connective tissue that hold the vertebrae in proper position. When these ligaments are weak or lax, the spinal column becomes misaligned, triggering muscle spasms, compression, and irritation of nerves. During a typical prolotherapy session, dextrose or another sugar-based, slightly irritating solution is injected into the weakened ligaments, initiating a healing response that repairs and strengthens them. Once these supporting structures are strong and taut, symptoms disappear.
  • Avoid NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, which can damage the stomach and intestinal tract. Instead, visit a compounding pharmacy which can mix NSAIDs, such as ketoprofen, and anesthetics, like ketamine, into rapidly absorbed creams or gels. When rubbed into painful areas, these preparations provide fast and often dramatic relief with little systemic drug absorption.
  • Try noninvasive therapies like acupuncture, which has a 4,000-year-old track record of safety and efficacy in relieving back pain. Chiropractic manipulations can also restore spinal alignment, increase mobility, and decrease pain. Plus, massage relaxes muscle strain and spasm, which are common causes of back pain.

Now it’s your turn: Have you found a natural solution for relieving pain?

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