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Epidurals

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Maria Traill's back pain is so severe, walking is a chore. "Ballroom dancing is a huge part of my life. I've no longer been able to do it." 

Traill has lumbar spinal stenosis. Like many people with the condition, she's been getting epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation and relieve the pain. "They injected me three times and all three times it lasted less than a week before the pain started coming back."

A new study questions the benefit of steroid injections for the spinal disorder. Researchers found after six weeks, injections that combine both epidural steroids and the anesthetic lodicaine offer the same relief as lidocaine alone. "This study shows that the steroids is not the reason why patients are getting this significant relief. It could be just be the lidocaine itself," says Dr. Nick Shamie, UCLA Spine Center.

Spinal stenosis effects people as they age. The spinal canal narrows and compress the nerves. "With the Baby Boomers getting older, we're going to see this problem more and more commonly." 

Traill, who is 51, says she's had enough with the injections and will get surgery with the hopes of getting her life back.

Some doctors suggest the injections offer relief by simply irrigating the area around the nerves, effectively washing away whatever is causing the inflammation.

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