A new study out of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland has determined that epidural spinal injections of steroids may relieve low back pain from a ruptured disc, but only briefly, and that the injections offer no significant relief for pain related to narrowing of the spaces around the spinal cord (AKA stenosis). The use of ESI is mired in controversy due to conflicting evidence and varying guidelines for physicians. The Oregon researchers pursued a more comprehensive answer by reviewing the evidence and standards of 63 published reports about the use of injections for treating low back pain from ruptured discs or narrowing. In their final conclusions, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers stated that ESI can relieve pain and delay surgery for a ruptured disc in the short term, but long term effects were no better than a placebo. Any effectiveness for stenosis was nonexistent.
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