Many doctors prefer to prescribe epidural steroid injections to treat the lower back pain than pain killers, because of less potential side effects. This is particularly true with the pain caused by lumbosacral radiculopathy. Radiculopathy or irritation of the nerves caused by injury or wear and tear of the outer ring of the discs between the vertebrae is very common and very painful and it often ends up in sciatica. Unfortunately, the latest research shows that it is not the steroids that are helping, but nature.
The research was conducted for three years in several treatment centers on 84 adults with lower back pain that lasted less than six months. The goal of the research was to evaluate the effectiveness of steroids and etanercept, a commonly prescribed arthritis medication. The test participants were given steroids, etanercept or placebo.
The results show that the pain decreased in all three groups, even the one given the placebo. While steroids did decrease the pain for a short time, improvement in all patients was the result of natural healing.
Scientists were disappointed with the results, both when it comes to steroids and etanercept, which was showing some potential in the treatment of the lower back pain. The conclusion of the research was that the most effective treatment for the lower back pain is, believe or not ” “ exercise. It seems that this is nothing new to the scientific community ” “ a number of studies confirm the benefits of exercise on the lower back pain, whether the patients were taking medications or not.