Non-surgical treatments of back pain may have prolonged and lasting benefit. Epidural steroid injections is one of the non-operative managements of back pain. These injections are recommended in patients with signs and symptoms of nerve root irritation. Relief of pain is attributed to the anti-inflammatory effect of the steroid. Patients with acute radiculopathy have better response compared to patients with chronic symptoms. Improvement may not be noted until 6 days after the injection. The depression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis lasts 3 weeks. While complications have been reported, these are rare. Intrathecal steroid injection is not advisable since polyethylene glycol, the vehicle used in depot steroid preparations, may cause arachnoiditis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine