Battling Back Pain

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Story Updated: Nov 14, 2012

Chronic low back pain is a common cause of disability in Americans.

One type...sciatica...is characterized by intense pain, weakness and tingling that can start in the lower back and can extend down the leg, to the calf and even into the foot.

A new study, just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, focuses on a minimally invasive treatment for sciatica...epidural corticosteroid injections.

Researchers reviewed 14 published studies to see how well the shots worked, and for how long.

The data on more than 13-hundred participants showed that the shots can offer significant short-term relief for the leg pain of sciatica.

BUT...follow up at one year or later showed no difference in leg pain, back pain, or disability for patients given epidural corticosteroid injections or placebo.

Symptoms of sciatica can be debilitating and persistent, patients are nearly four times more likely to have back surgery compared with those who have persistent low back pain only.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news you can use for healthier living.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.