Our Doctor comments on a recent article: “Steroid Injections Prove Effective in Treatment of Lumbar Disc Herniations, Researchers say“
Dr. Sakai’s thoughts:
This study examined a very specific patient population of young and healthy football players, but it certainly lends support to the use of epidural steroid injections for the treatment of pain due to herniated discs. The ultimate goal of the injections, beyond relief of pain, is improved quality of life and function, whether it is returning to playing football or being able to do self-care and household activities. While physical therapy is generally recommended to work on core stabilization and strengthening, it may be difficult to tolerate when the pain is severe. In these cases, epidural steroid injections may help to decrease pain before initiating physical therapy. While complications may occur with any injection procedure, they are very rare. Epidural steroid injections may help to prevent the need for surgery which is associated with greater risks. They are generally considered to be very safe and are used routinely as a first-line treatment for pain from herniated discs.