February 26, 2016

Saralyn Mark, MD Feedback from TappMD Expert
Saralyn Mark, MD
The problem with steroids as a treatment.
While steroid injections may decrease inflammation, they can also damage soft tissue, such as ligaments and tendons, which can then weaken a joint and cause more injury. Be very cautious about using steroid injections; they are not benign.

New research from Johns Hopkins suggests that it may not be the steroids in spinal shots that provide relief from lower back pain, but the mere introduction of any of a number of fluids, such as anesthetics and saline, to the space around the spinal cord.
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For decades, epidural steroid injections have been the most common nonsurgical treatment for lower back pain even though extensive research shows mixed results. Placebo-controlled studies have found benefit only 60 percent of the time and it remains unclear whether the epidural steroids provide long-term pain control or reduce the need for surgery. Meanwhile, experts warn, steroids are a less-than-ideal treatment for some as they can raise blood sugar in diabetic back patients, slow wound healing in those who need surgery and accelerate…

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Saralyn Mark, MD

Saralyn Mark, MD, an endocrinologist, geriatrician and women's health specialist, was the first Senior Medical Advisor to the Office on Women's Health within the Department of Health and Human Services for 11 years and to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As Senior Medical Advisor, Dr. Mark was responsible for the development and analysis of initiatives and programs on emerging technologies, public health preparedness, physician workforce issues, sex and gender-based medicine and women's health on Earth and in Space.