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Oral Steroids Do Not Improve Sciatica Pain

Common Therapy Used to Treat Lower Back and Leg Pain Has Questionable Efficacy

Steroids are commonly prescribed for patients who suffer from lower back and leg pain caused by a herniated disc. But how well do these anti-inflammatory medications actually work? A new study looked at a common oral steroid medication and its effectiveness in decreasing pain and improving function for patients with a herniated disc.

Harley Goldberg, DO from Kaiser Permanente – Northen California and co-authors studied 269 patients with sciatica. Two-thirds were given oral prednisone and the other third got a placebo. Patients were assessed for pain and function level after three weeks and again at one year.

The study appears in the JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association. To read the full study, click here.