Send to

Choose Destination
J Emerg Med. 2006 Nov;31(4):365-70.

Parenteral corticosteroids for Emergency Department patients with non-radicular low back pain.

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, 111 East 210th Street, Bronx, NY 10467, USA.


Although not recommended for low back pain, the efficacy of systemic corticosteroids has never been evaluated in a general low back pain population. To test the efficacy of systemic corticosteroids for Emergency Department (ED) patients with low back pain, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of long-acting methylprednisolone was conducted with follow-up assessment 1 month after ED discharge. Patients with non-traumatic low back pain were included if their straight leg raise test was negative. The primary outcome was a comparison of the change in a numerical rating scale (NRS) 1 month after discharge. Of 87 subjects randomized, 86 were successfully followed to the 1-month endpoint. The change in NRS between discharge and 1 month differed between the two groups by 0.6 (95% confidence interval -1.0 to 2.2), a clinically and statistically insignificant difference. Disability, medication use, and healthcare resources utilized were comparable in both groups. Corticosteroids do not seem to benefit patients with acute non-radicular low back pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center