SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association
New Study Finds Oral Steroids Do Not Improve Sciatica Pain
Many patients with sciatica endure substantial pain and disability. Oral steroids are often prescribed for patients who do not recover quickly. A new study looked at a common oral steroid medication and its effectiveness in decreasing pain and improving function for patients with sciatica due to a herniated disc.
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Northern California studied 269 patients who had sciatica due to a herniated disc. Two thirds were given an oral steroid and the other third received a placebo. Patients were assessed for pain and overall function after three weeks, and again at one year.
The researchers found a small, statistically significant improvement in function, favoring the steroid group, but no difference in pain scores.