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Are Epidural Steroid Injections Effective In Treating Low Back Pain?

  • Category: Pain Management
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Sassan Hassassian, M.D.

A recent controlled study* examined the effectiveness of a form of epidural steroid injections for treatment of back pain. This was a double-blind randomized trial, meeting the stringent requirements for scientific studies. The study results clearly showed significant relief of the pain and reduction in opioid use in those patients.

Lately, there has been a lot of talk and discussion regarding the use of steroid injections for the treatment of back and leg pain. In particular, there has been negative press and frankly some scary talking points regarding epidural steroid injections which have been one of the most commonly performed procedures in the specialty of pain management.

Understanding the Risks & Benefits

It is important for patients to understand how a pain management doctor approaches the subject of back and neck pain or radiating pain in extremities. The reason to have pain in these areas is multifold.

Most cases require no invasive treatment at all. In most cases, all it takes is physical therapy and use of over the counter (OTC) medications. However, there are situations where the pain persists for a variety of reasons which is beyond the scope of what can be covered here. Also, when faced with the alternative of surgery versus a minimally invasive procedure, the risk structure changes completely. An epidural steroid injection is one type of treatment protocol that can address the need of patients in pain.

Any procedure on any body part carries a risk. Presence or absence of risk is not the issue but the relative risk to benefit ratio. In cases of acute or chronic pain, another important issue is quality of life and how that is affected by pain. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of these injections are performed annually worldwide with relatively minimal risk compared to surgical options or use of multiple pain medications.

Start On Your Journey to Pain Relief – Here’s How:

At the end of the day, if the patient in pain is in the hands of a qualified and fully trained pain specialist like those at National Spine & Pain Centers and their affiliates, epidural steroid injections remain a viable minimally invasive treatment to improve patients’ quality of life and functional status.

We encourage patients suffering from chronic low back pain to learn more about epidural steroid injections. Please click here now to read in-depth and watch a video about the procedure!

If this study has helped you better understand what’s involved with epidural steroid injections, and if you’d like to take the next step and schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified pain management physicians, please click the button below to begin your journey to pain relief.