Steroid Injections

A steroid injection is an option for acute back pain. Its purpose is a few weeks of partial pain relief while hopefully awaiting an improvement.  Steroid injections can be considered as part of a treatment program for pain caused by an herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or spinal stenosis. The goal of such injections is to deliver the active medication as close as possible to the target tissue.

Epidural steroid injections are primarily intended for reducing inflammation around the nerve root. Due to the long acting nature of the steroid preparations used, they should not be performed at less than two week intervals. They are most commonly offered in conventional medicine as a secondline treatment after prior treatment with NSAIDS.

Since the pain relief from epidural steroid injections is usually brief, injections are not recommended as a transient treatment for these long-term problems. Additionally, there is currently no information that supports an advantage to the performance of injections early on in the course of the syndrome. Injections are commonly performed on an outpatient basis.