Apr 23

Are Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) Better Than the New Procedure?

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Steroid injections are often used to relieve lower back pain and leg pain caused from a car accident, trip and fall, or a workers compensation claim. Often times, these pains are caused by a herniated disc pressing on the nerve. A new type of medicine–Etanercept–is used for similar problems. Which one is better?

According to Medical News Today, a Johns Hopkins-led study has found that the current standard of care with steroid injections still does better. According to the article, a team led by Steven P. Cohen, M.D., an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, conducted a study providing epidural injections of either 60 milligrams of a steroid, 4 milligrams of etanercept, or 2 milliliters of saline to 84 adult patients with sciatica. One month after the second of two injections, the patients on steroids reported less pain and less disability than those in the other two groups.

Epidural steroid injections are used for sciatica to cover the spinal nerve roots directly in a medication designed to reduce inflammation – and pain – in order to give the body time to heal itself. The new study found that more patients treated with epidural steroids (75 percent) reported 50 percent or greater leg pain relief and felt better overall after one month compared to those who received saline (50 percent) or etanercept (42 percent). On a pain scale of 0 to 10, with 10 denoting the worst pain, those who received steroids reported, at one month, an average pain score of 2.1 compared with 3.6 in the etanercept group and 3.8 in the group injected with saline. Those in the steroid group also reported lower levels of disability (21 percent) than those in the saline group (29 percent) or etanercept group (38 percent).

It is important to remember that epidural steroid injections are NOT a cure to herniated disc or related sciatica. It is important that a sufferer from a disc herniation or sciatica talk with their doctor about a course of treatment, including chiropractic care and rehabilitative exercises to be used in conjunction with the epidural steroid injections.


Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents many people suffering from herniated discs caused automobile crashes, work comp claims and other types of personal injury matters. His Clearwater personal injury law firm – Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes – has been caring for clients since 1955. Benefit from their experience! Call Attorney Matthew Noyes today at 727-796-8282 or simply click here for a free case consultation.

  1. AllenCarlos 11 Nov 2012 | reply

    I always say that using any organic techniques to enhance ones health and fitness is great.

  2. Great blog. I always say that using any natural methods to improve ones health and wellness is great. Especially when it comes to the body handling stress. Reiki is one of those great methods.

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