Getting steroid injections to alleviate lower back pain only offers short-term relief.
Researchers in France examined 145 patients that complained of lower back pain. On average, they suffered from back pain for 6 years. Some of the participants received a steroid injection, while others received no treatment. Patients were asked to rate the severity of their pain at the study start, and again 1, 3, 6 and 12 months later.
A month after treatment, 55% of those who got the injection experienced less lower back pain, compared with 33% who didn’t receive an injection. However, 12 months after the study began, there was no difference in pain outcomes between those who got the injection and those who didn’t, the researchers reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
In addition, at 12 months, the 2 groups had similar rates of disc inflammation, lower quality of life, more anxiety and depression, and use of pain medication.