Radiculopathy occurs when something irritates a spinal nerve—say a “slipped disc” causing a pinched nerve. This is also called sciatica . There are resident stem and other cells in the local tissues everywhere in our body. Many live around blood vessels. These are obviously also present in the disc and nerves in the epidural space and they usually play an important role in suppressing inflammation and repairing damage. We know, based on a copious in vitro (lab) data, that the high-dose steroids used in epidural injections can kill these cells. So the progression of the series of epidural steroid injections looks a little something like this:
Anabolic steroids are synthetic hormonal substances that behave like testosterone. They help build skeletal muscles (anabolic effect) and develop male characteristics (the androgenic effect). In fact, the exact name for these is anabolic-androgenic steroids. Doctors prescribe these for people with testosterone deficiency or with low red blood cell count. They are also used to treat adolescents experiencing delayed puberty or patients with breast cancer, aside from treating tissue wasting among people AIDS. 1 They must also not be confused with corticosteroids, a cortisone-like steroidal medication that controls inflammation and is used to treat a range of health problems.
There are other side effects that can occur as a result of steroid usage, and some side effects are more common in one class of steroid than others. Most all of the side effects of steroids can be mitigated through diet, other treatments, and management of your steroid usage. The key is to make sure that you understand what you’re getting into with any steroid, and be prepared to make adjustments and monitor the effects of the steroid closely. Don’t just be on the lookout for the good parts like muscle and strength growth. Also keep your eyes open to the negative effects as well. If you do, and react accordingly, you can keep the good effects and minimize the negative effects on your body.