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December 29, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgEvery now and again, Congress will surprise us with a sound economic decision that feeds, rather than starves, the national economy. Consider the House vote last week to shield millions of Americans from the unfair and outdated Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) a Christmas feast 40 years in the making. Never mind the politicians’ desire to look as if they are giving taxpayers something in a season that conveniently includes holidays and elections. The end result is good – rewriting a definition of “rich” that has not been adjusted for inflation since 1969. Nearly 21 million Americans won protection from the AMT – at least for their 2007 returns. This one-year, made-for-the-primaries deal could mean an average of $2,000 per eligible taxpayer. That translates into an estimated $50 billion staying in the pockets of those who earned it. That is not enough money to jump-start the nation’s consumer-fueled economy, or even overcome the credit crunch, but it certainly will convince some to spend a little more and help others take a bite out of their debt. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonThe only real surprise was that 64 House Democrats voted against revoking the AMT, arguing that it needed to be offset by another tax increase or spending cut. The AMT is illustrative of how bad policy manages to hang around indefinitely until someone raises a stink. The AMT was originally forced on taxpayers who earn more than $150,000 a year during the Nixon administration. That was a lot of money back then – about $850,000 in today’s dollars – but the spend-happy members of Congress never adjusted the burden for inflation. Now 150 grand a year is still nothing to sneer at, but in urban Southern California it places an earner in the upper reaches of the middle class. It takes an income of about $133,000 a year to buy a median-priced home in Los Angeles County with the kind of mortgage that is not designed with bank repossession in mind. Members of Congress will surely expect votes in return for this holiday gift. But the politicians can’t expect to receive universal praise until Congress kills the law for good.last_img read more

December 19, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgBirdwatching is more fun when you learn what’s going on in those feathered bodies.Record migration (PhysOrg): It’s been called “one of the most impressive bird migrations in the Americas.” The little Blackpolled Warbler, a gold-colored handsome bird that could fit in your hand, undertakes a migration each year from New England to South America. Scientists have banded and studied these little birds for 40 years now. “Migration is one of the most understudied, important, and perilous times in a songbird’s life cycle,” a researcher noted. The systems for navigation, metabolism and hazard avoidance must be incredible to fit into a bird that small.Pigeon leadership (Current Biology): In this dispatch, James Herbert-Read says, “A new study has decoded which birds become leaders in homing pigeon flocks, finding an unexpected benefit of leadership: faster birds emerge as leaders, and these leaders learn more about their environment than their followers.” There must be some benefit to the followers since there are so many of them.Parrot toolkit (PhysOrg): New evidence has been found that parrots can use tools. Psychologists watched ten parrots grind calcium from sea shells with pebbles. Not only that, they shared their pebbles with other parrots. “This behaviour, never before seen in this species, is the first evidence of a nonhuman using tools for grinding, and one of the few reports of nonhuman animals sharing tools directly.”How birds stay colorful (Science Daily): Because blue jays use structural color instead of pigments for their bright blues, those colors don’t fade. Understanding how they construct these patterns “could pave the way for the creation of paints and clothing colours that won’t fade over time.” What’s even more amazing is that the structures, made up of tiny holes in well-organized arrays, don’t become disorganized as the bird ages.The researchers found that the Jay is able to demonstrate amazing control over the size of the holes in this sponge-like structure and fix them at very particular sizes, determining the colour that we see reflected from the feather. This is because when light hits the feather the size of these holes determines how the light is scattered and therefore the colour that is reflected. As a result, larger holes mean a broader wavelength reflectance of light, which creates the colour white. Conversely, a smaller, more compact structure, results in the colour blue.How would you like jeans that stay as bright as when you bought them?“Current technology cannot make colour with this level of control and precision — we still use dyes and pigments. Now we’ve learnt how nature accomplishes it, we can start to develop new materials such as clothes or paints using these nanostructuring approaches. It would potentially mean that if we created a red jumper using this method, it would retain its colour and never fade in the wash.”Kestrel drone (Science Daily): Ever wonder how hunting birds can hover for long periods without moving their wings? Try building a glider that can do that. Australians are working on that problem, getting inspiration from how kestrels use updrafts efficiently by adjusting their wing feathers. Hovering without flapping allows these birds to focus their eyes precisely. If the engineers can mimic that on their micro-aerial vehicle (MAV), the technique could be “used for many tasks in urban environments, such as delivering packages, performing surveillance, and search and rescue,” the article says.Hummingbird thermostat (BBC News): Have you ever worried about your hummingbirds overheating at the feeder? All that fast flapping and zipping around would seem to make the little birds get heat exhaustion, especially on warm days. It turns out that they effectively shed excess heat in the feather-free “windows” around their eyes, shoulder joints, feet and legs. Scientists in Oregon found this out using thermal cameras.Penguin dinosaur (BBC News): Here’s another claim of “convergent evolution.” Long before penguins evolved, evolutionists are now saying, marine reptiles swam like them. Penguins literally “fly through the water” with their water wings, and that’s how plesiosaurs swam, according to new models, PhysOrg concurs. Speaking of plesiosaurs, an “enormous” fossil specimen has been found near Patagonia. Live Science tells the story of its discovery and excavation. The flippers alone are four feet long on this beast, estimated 23 feet in length. Most of the long-necked plesiosaurs have been found in North America, so this one seemed out of place.Huddle of the penguins: Speaking again of penguins, how many “March of the Penguins” movie fans knew that “Penguin huddling is more complicated than thought”? That’s a phenomenon PhysOrg tries to untangle. Who would have thought that the ones in the middle can overheat? It can get up to 100° in there! Scientists observed some of them eating snow, apparently in an effort to cool off. Outsiders try to break up the huddles, but the ones in the middle might feel trapped, wanting to get out.Watch the birdie evolve.  Nature tries to figure out “How Birds Spread Around the Globe.” Answer: They flew. Over at Live Science, Laura Geggel tells her readers that “Modern Birds Took Flight 95 Million Years Ago” as if she was there watching. “Birds began their evolutionary split from dinosaurs about 150 million years ago, during the Jurassic period,” she drones. Nighty-night.Darwin’s finches under threat (BBC News): We end on a sad note; the finches of the Galapagos are under threat from parasitic flies that attack the young.  Scientists are trying various strategies because they don’t believe the birds can adapt or “evolve” in time. It makes one wonder how they got past other threats for millions of Darwin Years.Birdwatching is a fun hobby, without the ball and chain of Darwinian storytelling. The stories are like those annoying pop-ups when you want to watch a video that say, “You can skip this add in 5 seconds.” Just flap your arms for 5 seconds, click “Skip Ad” and get to the good stuff. (Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

December 19, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgJustice MalalaWriting in the New York Times in late July this year, Howard W French told a truth often ignored.“As a matter of convention,” he wrote, “we constantly say and write things about Africa that would be unimaginable with any other continent.“An often thoughtless broad-brush treatment belies the fact of diversity on a continent of 53 countries (even this is not a settled number) and close to a billion inhabitants, a place of light and dark, rich and poor, increasingly well-governed and still appallingly ill­governed people.”These words came back to me a few days after they were published while I listened to the speeches at the Sunday Times Book Awards on 1 August. As the finalists and winners were announced to a room packed with government ministers, academics, authors, publishers, intellectuals and journalists, it occurred to me that perhaps here, in South Africa, we are beginning to show that indeed we are like the rest of the world.We are, in French’s words, “light and dark, rich and poor”. In so many of the works that nearly made it, and the two fiction and non-fiction titles that finally won, this world of light and dark is explored and expanded upon. It is more than light and dark: it is a multicoloured thing, complex and worthy of investigation.In politics, Africa conjures up certain images. People speak of the “dark continent” and easily draw the line towards the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin or the former Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko.And yet I know I have lived for five years under the most benign, democratic presidential term many anywhere in the world can ever have known. I lived from 1994 to 1999 under President Nelson Mandela. That image, that five years, and the 10 after it under Thabo Mbeki, is not the “dark continent”. It is another country. It is the shining light to the dark.I write two weekly columns for two different publications. Never once have I felt that I cannot write what I like; criticise as I like, offend as I feel. I live in a free country.As I write this the new president of our republic, Jacob Zuma, has just visited a township where over the past few weeks there have been service delivery riots. The people of Balfour complained about poor provision of water, electricity and corruption.Zuma arrived unannounced, walked and talked with the people of the township and then went to the mayor’s office. A worker tucking into her lunch was so shocked to see him there her plate fell out of her hands and smashed to the floor.The mayor was not around. Zuma told his officials he would sit in the mayor’s office until the man came to the office. Many have asked why the mayor was not at his desk. He could have been out seeing residents – like Zuma. In the dark light, in the broad brush, many rushed to say he was lazy and was caught out by the president.The man had been booked off sick. He roused himself out of bed and came to see Zuma. Sometimes, you see, things are grey. Not dark, not light. This is what Africa needs: the chance to be all shades, not just the “dark continent”.Over the past few years the eyes of the international community have increasingly been turning towards South Africa. With the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup in June, the Lions Tour and the Indian Premier League, billions of people across the world were glued to their television screens watching the various sports events unfold.At the end of each of these sports fests, not many would say that South Africa had not pulled off the organisation spectacularly well. I remember speaking to Hans Klaus, head of communications for Fifa, who told me that if anyone ever thought the 2010 World Cup could not be staged in South Africa then they had their answer: the Confederations Cup was an outstanding success.On the economic front, many across the world expected the Zuma administration to follow a leftist economic slant due to the ruling African National Congress’s closeness to its trade union allies. Talk of nationalization of mines was rife. Yet Zuma has dismissed this talk.The respected ratings agency Moody in July showed its faith in the new government’s economic policy probity by upgrading its foreign currency rating. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan welcomed the move, saying: “We welcome their understanding that President Zuma’s government … is committed to maintaining a very sound approach to fiscal policy, but at the same time ensuring that we remain agile and responsive to the many challenges that countries like South Africa face.”Dark continent? Hardly.So what favours can we be done as we hurtle inexorably to the 2010 World Cup? How can the world help us? No favours, really, except for the world’s eyes to be opened, for our “light and dark” to be seen in full splendour and not rolled into one “dark continent”. The world merely needs to start seeing Africa, and South Africa, as a place of many shades, of many contradictions, of many triumphs and many failures. Like Europe, like any other place on earth.It is the least the world can do for us. It is all we ask for. The rest, the proof (if any is needed) that we are special, is up to us.Justice Malala is an award-winning former newspaper editor, and is now general manager of Avusa’s stable of 56 magazines. He writes weekly columns for The Times newspaper and Financial Mail magazine, as well as a monthly media and politics column for Empire magazine. He is the resident political analyst for independent television channel e.tv and has consulted extensively for financial institutions on South African political risk. Malala was also an executive producer on Hard Copy I and II, a ground-breaking television series on SABC 3. Hard Copy I won the Golden Horn Award for best television series. Malala’s work has been published internationally in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Financial Times, The Independent, Forbes, Institutional Investor, The Age and The Observer.last_img read more

December 18, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgThe preliminary report into the disappearance of Flight MH370 released on Thursday May 1 will likely upset relatives and loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew aboard the Malaysia Airlines jet because of its lack of new information. It comes as Malaysian sources confided to AirlineRatings.com that if MH370 is not in the current search zone off Western Australia, authorities had “no idea where it is”.The five-page preliminary report has been described by one former crash investigator as “barely adequate.” However a number of new facts have emerged. The report indicates that Malaysian air traffic control did not contact its military after the aircraft disappeared from radar and didn’t start a search for the plane till four hours after it went missing.Air traffic control only made contact with Singapore, Hong Kong and Cambodia air traffic authorities to find out if the pilots of MH370 had been in touch.It was also revealed that Vietnamese air traffic control waited 17 minutes to alert authorities the plane had not made contact after signing off from Malaysia.The Malaysian Government did however release the cargo manifest, seating plan for the plane, air traffic control audio and the various flight paths that they believe the plane took.An excellent analysis has been done by a CNN team including Richard Quest, who forced the Malaysians to release the report.Authorities are convinced the jet crashed in the search area where four pings were detected by Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield on April 5 and 8 — about 1000km west of Exmouth in the Indian Ocean.The Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre yesterday reaffirmed the search area — 700km long and 80km wide. The search could take up to eight months.“The Australian led search is relying on information from satellite and other data to determine the missing aircraft’s location,” JACC said in a statement.“The joint international team is satisfied that the final resting place of the missing aircraft is in the southerly portion of the search arc,” JACC said.The Bluefin-21 is searching in the area and will be joined by other equipment including a submersible called Orion, which can operate to a depth of 6000m.last_img read more

December 16, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgIf I do that same calculation in the reverse order, the results are very different, as shown below. The R-45 exterior insulation will save 57 MMBTU per year, and the R-14 cavity insulation saves only 0.6 MMBTU per year. So the exterior insulation saves about 91 times as much energy as the cavity insulation here.Looking at it this way, you might say, “Hey, we’ve already got 98.9% of the savings with the R-45. Why don’t we just skip the cavity insulation? We’ll get almost the same performance.” Just by reversing the order, the payback for all insulation types, even the two “bad” ones, drops to less than 20 years. You have to go well past R-60 to hit 20 years, but the insulation should last 50 years or more.What R-value should you use?One other thing I pointed out about this issue is the actual R-value used. Wilson’s graph goes all the way up to R-60. Do you ever need to use that much? We know about the diminishing returns of adding more insulation. When does it make sense to stop? Well, we now have some good guidance from the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). RELATED ARTICLESMore About Global Warming and Insulation The Misleading Numbers Behind the Global Warming Impact of InsulationAvoiding the Global Warming Impact of InsulationCalculating the Global Warming Impact of Insulation New Blowing Agent Addresses Climate Impact of Foam InsulationInsulation to Keep Us Warm — Not Warm the Planet What we want to know is the ratio of the savings when you calculate the R-45 exterior insulation first versus when you calculate it second. And those numbers are 57.3 MMBTU/year for R-45 first versus 6.54 MMBTU/year when you calculate the R-45 savings second. That ratio is shown at right.The conclusion here is that you get 8.8 times as much energy savings simply by calculating in the reversed order. Let’s apply that to Wilson’s results.Below is the graph Wilson presented for doing the calculation with the R-45 savings second. The effect on payback At the North American Passive House Conference in Philadelphia in September, I gave a presentation on the global warming impact of insulation, an issue I’ve discussed a few times since Alex Wilson wrote his paper on the topic back in 2010. In my presentation, I covered two different aspects of the issue: (i) the problem with Wilson’s payback calculations and (ii) using David White’s global warming impact calculator to make more informed decisions.I’ll discuss these two aspects of the issue in two articles, giving you the payback part here and the calculator in two weeks.Diminishing returns and paybackI don’t know why it took me so long to figure this part out, but I didn’t see it when I first wrote about Wilson’s payback calculations. Now it seems pretty clear. Let’s see if I can convince you.To calculate how many years it takes to pay back the cost of something, you need to know what the savings are per year. In this case, we’re not talking about money. We’re talking global warming emissions, but the principle of payback is the same. In Wilson’s calculations, he used a calculation method for energy savings that made two of the insulation types look really bad. (Those two were extruded polystyrene and closed-cell spray polyurethane foam.) That calculation method he used was to split the energy savings due to the highly insulated walls in their study into two parts. The initial energy savings went to the cellulose insulation in the 2×6 wall cavities, with a whole-wall R-value of R-14. Then they added more insulation of the various types they studied and calculated how much energy that “extra” insulation saved.That might make sense if you have an existing home with already-insulated 2×6 walls. But if you’re building a new home, I argue it doesn’t make sense. More on that in a bit.The reason that splitting the energy savings like that yields misleading results is due to diminishing returns. As you can see in the graph below, by the time a wall is insulated to R-14, it’s already got most of the energy savings it’s ever going to get. You can keep adding more, but you get less and less energy savings for each additional inch of insulation. The returns diminish. How do these results affect Wilson’s payback calculations? Let’s work through the calculation. The equation for simple payback is shown at right.Regardless of which order you use to calculate the energy savings, the cost in global warming impact should remain the same. The global warming emissions from the making of the insulation (all types) and the emissions from the blowing agents (foam) don’t change.So to calculate the effect of calculation order on payback, we need to adjust the denominator in that little equation. Calculating in a different orderLet’s take a look at some actual numbers. I used a total R-value of 59, split into two parts:  R-14 (representing the insulation in the cavities) and R-45 (the additional insulation on the exterior). When I calculate the amount of energy savings attributable to the R-14 first, I get the graph below. The cavity insulation saves about 51 MMBTU per year. The exterior insulation saves about 6.5 MMBTU per year. The cavity insulation saves 7.9 times as much energy as the exterior insulation. Calculating the R-45 savings first would lower all the lines on the graph by a factor of 8.8. Most of the insulation types are already really low so I didn’t adjust them. But if you lower the lines for extruded polystyrene (XPS) and closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF), here’s what happens: The table at right shows the R-values needed to meet the PHIUS climate-specific standard in different climate zones. Up to Climate Zone 3, R-30 or less is all you need. For Climate Zones 4, 5, and 6, you can stop at about R-50. It’s only in the sparsely populated Climate Zones 7 and 8 that you need lots and lots of insulation, especially in Zone 8.When you look at graphs like Wilson’s, whether adjusted the way I’ve done or not, keep these numbers in mind.In case you’re wondering, the numbers I calculated above include only the energy savings due to heating.The baby and the bathwaterIf you buy into my argument, you should agree that Wilson’s conclusion to avoid XPS and ccSPF wasn’t warranted. If you don’t buy into my argument, please let me know why. I’m not saying those two materials are neutral in all respects in comparison to other insulation materials. There are certainly other issues to consider. But when we look just at energy savings and global warming impact, XPS and ccSPF aren’t as bad as it first seemed.Wilson’s study, however, is still important. As I pointed out in my last article on this topic, the real significance of what he did was to get us thinking about this issue and actually calculating global warming impact. David White of Right Environments in Brooklyn developed a spreadsheet calculator to do just this. And that’s the subject of the second part of my conference presentation, which I’ll discuss in my next article on this topic. Stay tuned. Download the slides from my North American Passive House Conference presentation Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.last_img read more

December 9, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now For many decades, salespeople were taught to find “the” decision-maker, that one person who had the authority to bind a company to a deal. They were taught that they needed to reach the C-suite if they were to create and capture opportunities. Most deals still need an executive sponsor of some kind, and all of them require someone with the authority to bind the company to a deal.Because we have focused for so long on authority, there has been a tendency for some to believe that other people are not as important to winning a deal, and such, they have not treated the with appropriate respect, preferring to look over the shoulder and up the organizational chart. This is a mistake, and it should be remedied.Treating people as if they are important is a hedge. The fact of the matter is, you don’t know who has what level of influence within their company, and whose ear they have.You might believe that someone’s title indicates that they are not necessary to a deal, when that person might be just the person you need to gain access to the person who would most value from what you do.You might mistakenly be ignoring someone because they don’t appear to have any influence, when they might very well be the person who her peers look to for advice in the area where you can help. You might believe that people who are lower on the organizational chart are somehow less important to winning a deal than people at the higher rungs of the ladder, but to believe this is to make a mistake.Even though you believe someone may not be integral to winning business, you should treat everyone as if they are important, as though wants and needs are important to you, and you should always consider their needs. You should do this because it’s the right thing to do. But if you don’t believe it’s true, do it anyway as a hedge against behaving in a way that hurts you later.last_img read more

November 27, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgRashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan RMSA, a government of India project, Assam has invited online applications for Graduate Teachers and Staff in Model schools located in 14 educationally backward blocks of Assam. The appointment shall be on contractual basis, initially for a period of 11 months, which may be renewed depending on the satisfactory performance.Vacancies:Post Name    No of Posts    Graduate Teacher (English)    28    Graduate Teachers (Science)    14    Graduate Teachers (Math)    14    Graduate Teachers (Arts)    14    Graduate Teachers (Assamese)    14    Graduate Teachers (Hindi)    14    Graduate Teachers (Bengali)    03    Computer Teachers    14    Music Teachers    14    Librarian    14    Lab Attendant    14    ELIGIBILITYGraduate Teachers (English): Candidates should have a B.A or B.Sc in the relevant subject along a BT/B.Ed degree from any recognised university. Candidates should be TET qualifiedLibrarian: Graduation with one year Diploma in Library Science from a recognised institution.Lab Attendant: 12th standard passed with science stream from a recognised university or board.PAY SCALEGraduate Teachers/Hindi Teacher/Computer Teacher: Rs 5200 to 20200 (PB-2) + Grade Pay Rs 3300 Music Teacher: Rs 5200/- to 20200 (PB-2) + Grade Pay Rs 2700 Librarian: Rs 5200 to 20200 (PB-2) + Grade Pay Rs 2500 Lab Attendant:  Rs 15000 Age Limit: 38 Years of age as on July 01, 2014 (Relaxation of age will be applicable for SC/ST Applicants up to 5 years as per norms)Selection Procedure:The criteria for selection of Teachers shall be as follows:a) 100 marks on percentage of marks in B.A/B.Com/B.Sc Examination; (In case of Major/Hons, the marks obtained in Major/Hons, shall be taken into consideration);b) 100 marks on percentage of marks in H.S. Final Examination;c) 100 marks on percentage of marks in H.S.L.C Examination;d) 100 marks on percentage of marks in B.T/B.Ed Examination;e) 20 marks for achievement in fine Arts and Cultural Activities/Sports representing the state officially at National Level/ NCC certificate/ participating in recognised sports at national level representing Assamf) Maximum 30 marks for teaching experience @ 2 marks per year of teaching experience in Higher Secondary School/High School having enrollment more than 100.j) 20 marks on Interview.advertisementFor viva-voice the candidate will be called in a ratio of 1:4Application Fee: Rs 200 at any branch of State Bank of India after second working day (48 hours) from the day of the application submit. Payment of application fee can be made at any branch of State Bank of India by cash only. System generated bank e-Challan is a must for depositing the fee. The last date for submission of application is 17/09/2014.How To Apply: Candidates need to apply online through official website Official website: www.rmsaassam.in from Important dates: Last date to apply is October 10, 2014last_img read more

November 27, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgDefinitionAn epidural steroid injection (ESI) is the delivery of powerful anti-inflammatory medicine directly into the space outside of the sac of fluid around your spinal cord. This area is called the epidural space.ESI is not the same as epidural anesthesia given just before childbirth or certain types of surgery.Alternative NamesESI; Spinal injection for back pain; Back pain injectionDescriptionYou will be asked to change into a gown.You will then lie face down on an x-ray table with a pillow under your stomach. If this position causes pain, you will be asked to either sit up or lie on your side in a curled position.The health care provider cleans the area of your back where the needle will be inserted. Medicine may be used to numb the area. You may be given medicine to help you relax.The doctor inserts a needle into your back. The doctor will likely use an x-ray machine that produces real-time pictures to help guide the needle to the correct spot in your lower back.A mixture of steroid and numbing medicines are injected into the area. This medicine decreases swelling and pressure on the larger nerves around your spine and helps relieve pain.You may feel some pressure during the injection, but most of the time the procedure is not painful. It is important not to move during the procedure because the injection needs to be very precise.You will be watched for 15 to 20 minutes after the injection before going home.advertisementWhy the Procedure Is PerformedYour doctor may recommend ESIif you have pain that spreads from the lower spine to the hips or down the leg (radicular low back pain). This pain is caused by pressure on a nerve as it leaves the spine, most often due to a bulging disc.ESI isused only when your pain has not improved with medicines, physical therapy, or other nonsurgical treatments.RisksESI is generally safe. Complications may include:Dizziness, headache, or feeling sick to your stomach. Most of the time they are mild.Nerve root damage with increase pain down your legInfection in or around your spine (meningitis or abscess)Allergic reaction to the medicine usedBleeding around the spinal column (hematoma)Talk to your doctor about your risk of complications.Having these injections too often may weaken the bones of your spine or nearby muscles. Receiving higher doses of the steroids in the injections may also cause these problems. Because of this, most doctors limit patients to two or three injections per year.Your doctor will most likely have ordered an MRI scan of the back before this procedure. This helps your doctor determine the area to be treated.Before You Have the ProcedureTell your doctor or nurse:If you are pregnant or might be pregnantWhat medicines you are taking, including herbs, supplements, and other drugs you bought without a prescriptionYou may be told to stop taking medicines that make it hard for your blood to clot for several days before the test. This may include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and heparin.After the ProcedureYou may feel some discomfort in the area where the needle was inserted. This should last only a few hours.You may be told to rest for the rest of the day.Your pain may become worse for 2 to 3 days after the injection before it begins to improve. The steroid usually takes 2 to 3 days to work.If you receive medicines to make you sleepy, you must arrange for someone to drive you home.Outlook (Prognosis) Epidural steroid injections provide short-term pain relief for at least half of the people who receive them. Symptoms may remain better for weeks to months, but rarely up to a year.The procedure does not cure the cause of your back pain. You will need to continue back exercises and other treatments.ReferencesChou R, Loeser JD, Owens DK, Rosenquist RW, et al; American Pain Society Low Back Pain Guideline Panel. Interventional therapies, surgery, and interdisciplinary rehabilitation for low back pain: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline from the American Pain Society. Spine. 2009;34(10):1066-77.Staal JB, de Bie RA, de Vet HC, et al. Injection therapy for subacute and chronic low back pain: an updated Cochrane review. Spine. 2009;34(1):49-59. Review.Jegede KA, Ndu A, Grauer JN. Contemporary management of symptomatic lumbar disc herniations. Orthop Clin North Am. 2010;41:217-24.Review Date:4/16/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.advertisementlast_img read more