Research confirms steroid injections are not a long-term back pain solution, so what to do?

A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine* confirms that steroid injections can only give temporary relief to sufferers of low back pain and sciatica.

Research at University Hospitals Paris showed that a single glucocorticoid injection given to patients with active lumbar discopathy reduced their lower back pain within a month.

facet injection

However the randomised controlled trial showed that the effect of the injection decreased over time and at twelve months, the injection group and control group did not differ in lower back pain intensity.

This study would concur with recent Nice guidelines in which they recommend that practitioners do not offer spinal injections for lower back pain.  However Nice does offer practitioners epidural injections of local anaesthetic and steroid as an option for sufferers of acute and severe sciatica.

Although injections are not intended as a solution for back pain and sciatica sufferers, their use can provide a window of pain relief for the patient to begin a programme of non-invasive rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, existing manual therapies have proved insufficient for this category of patient and often, the next stage available to them is to consider surgery.

The IDD Therapy Disc Programme can circumvent the surgical route in many instances. Targeted segmental decompression and mobilisation helps to restore more normal mechanical functional in spinal segments.

IDD Therapy Disc Treatment
IDD Therapy Disc Treatment With The Accu SPINA

As part of an overall treatment plan encompassing exercise and manual therapy, The IDD Therapy Disc Programme provides a cost-effective long term solution for many patients.

It unburdens primary care providers and frees patients from pain and the cyclic frustrations of going into and out of pain management programmes.

*Nguyen C, Boutron I, Baron G, Sanchez K, Palazzo C, Benchimol R, et al. Intradiscal Glucocorticoid Injection for Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain Associated With Active Discopathy: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. [Epub ahead of print 21 March 2017] doi: 10.7326/M16-1700

Author Stephen Small is Director of Steadfast Clinics and IDD Therapy Disc Clinics, the largest network of spinal disc treatment providers.  e:

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About the Author:Stephen Small