Epidural Steroid Injection vs. Spinal Traction for Back Pain Relief

I think it’s safe to say that if you must be suffering from an extremely severe lower back pain if you are considering an epidural steroid injection.

As a mother of two, I went through the “pleasurable” epidural injection experience twice while giving birth to them, while being well aware of the possible risks, dangers and side effects that both me and my baby could suffer from.

But I was desperate for pain relief and there were little to no other effective options. Are you desperate too? Do you think you have no other options?

You couldn’t be more wrong.

Low Back Pain Treatments

The Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure


Usually with the aid of x-ray guidance, a mixture of steroids and numbing medication are injected into the tiny epidural space in your spine. If performed correctly, the medication gets to the intended area. If not done correctly, all hell breaks loose.

I think everyone knows at least one person (mostly women) that has a horror story about her failed epidural injection.

The temporary paralysis, the head-crushing headache, the nausea. The unnecessary pain (and all of this while trying to give birth to a child!)

The Epidural Injection Risks

First think you should know is that the average success rate (by success I mean short term pain relief) for epidural steroid injection  is about 50 percent.

Also, despite a documented 629% increase in low back pain steroid shots, no correlating improvement in disability rates and patient outcomes were found (Source: Pubmed).

These are the possible risks of ESI:

1. Paraparesis/Paraplegia

2. Inflammation around your spinal cord, nerves and brain (Arachnoiditis) – this usually happens when the medication is accidentally injected into the spinal fluid (this is not as rare as you might think!)

3. Bone Fractures – your risk of bone fractures in the spine increases by 29 percent each time you get an epidural shot (especially if you suffer from osteoporosis).

4. Medication Side Effects – From the steroid medication itself – These include high blood sugar, decreased immunity, ulcers, hip arthritis and more.

5. Infection – this can rank from mild to severe.

6. Spinal Headache – my friend had this side effect. It’s basically the worst headache you ever imagined. Every tiny movement makes you feel like you head is going to explode. It’s terrifying.

7. Meningitis (heard the recent news?), Seizures, nerve damage – And more fun stuff as these, let me stop here.

I simply can’t understand anyone agreeing to go through this painful and risky procedure, which may only result in temporary (a few weeks) pain relief, no real cure and no long term solution, when there are MORE THAN A FEW alternative treatment that are just as effective, if not more.

Lumbar Traction

In a study published by the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in 1999 (long time ago…) it was found that 81% of those with mild to moderately severe pain found symptomatic relief with traction therapy.

There are thousands of low back pain sufferers’ testimonials that confirm these findings.

Traction created separation in your vertebrae. It decompresses and stretches your spine, relieving pressure on your spinal discs and nerves. This usually results in instant pain relief, but not just that.

The separation allows nutrient-rich fluid to circulate within the vertebrae (which your body then uses to heal itself) and allows your discs to “re-absorb” the water gravity is sucking out of them.

Without water in your discs to help absorb the pressure on your spine caused by gravity as well as normal wear-and-tear on your body each day, you begin experiencing the pain you’re probably feeling as you read this right now. (Source: Lose the Back Pain)

 How to Do Lumbar Traction at Home

You can always go to a chiropractor to get traction therapy, but if your budget is a bit tight and you don’t have much time, you can safely do this at home by yourself, using an inversion table or the Nubax Trio.

This is how the Nubax Trio Looks like:

The Nubax Trio is something everyone suffering from pain in lower back should use, due to its amazing ability to heal and strengthen your spine over the long term. And it only requires 3-6 minutes of treatment a day!

The School of Sport Science, Exercise & Health in Western Australia conducted a study, which scientifically proved the effectiveness of the Nubax machine:

  • In the first 3 weeks, the participants noticed a 100% improvement in physical function, stiffness and pain as a whole.
  • When only looking at “physical function” by itself (e.g. the ability to move your body)… they enjoyed a 350% increase in physical function in just 3 weeks of using the Nubax.
  • After just 6 weeks of using the Nubax, they experienced an increase of 143.75% in overall improvement!

I personally can’t understand anyone scheduling the expensive, painful and dangerous epidural injection before giving this traction therapy device a shot (pun intended).

Imagine just 3 short weeks from now as YOUR lower back pain and physical function improves by 100%, allowing you to finally get back to the things you LOVE to do, but have too much pain to do now.

This is an easy choice: with a steroid injection you have a lot to lose and little to gain.

With a traction device you have little to lose (you can return it and get your money back) and A LOT to gain.

What would you choose?

If you are still in doubt, this detailed review will really help.

To your health and happiness


4 thoughts on “Epidural Steroid Injection vs. Spinal Traction for Back Pain Relief”

  1. When I’m giving birth to.my daughter. A year ago, i went through. C- section, and i did used the epidural, till now, i can feel my back pain and the c section. Area pain too, is this the side effect? And how to cure this pain??

  2. 65 yr old male. 4th&5th vert. scheduled to have procedure done. Chronic pain since early 20s<only to find out 1 leg 3/4inch shorter. tried risers in shoes-made it worse. pelvic girdle girdle off-set. tried this epidural steroid 20 yrs. ago & it lit me on fire. screaming like a little kid. they injected me with demoral and had to keep me in hosp overnight with more demoral injections. now my personal dr says that they are getting away with demoral-what the heck. the other crap they give you sucks. morphine,etc.. spooked about it. any suggestions?


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