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

Benjamin W. Friedman, Lynne M. Holden, David Esses, Polly E. Bijur, Hong K. Choi, Clemecia Solorzano, Joseph Paternoster, E. John Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-370
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Fingerprint

Low Back Pain
Hospital Emergency Service
Adrenal Cortex Hormones
Methylprednisolone
Leg
Placebos
Confidence Intervals
Delivery of Health Care
Population

Keywords

  • emergency department
  • Low back pain
  • methylprednisolone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this

Parenteral corticosteroids for Emergency Department patients with non-radicular low back pain. / Friedman, Benjamin W.; Holden, Lynne M.; Esses, David; Bijur, Polly E.; Choi, Hong K.; Solorzano, Clemecia; Paternoster, Joseph; Gallagher, E. John.

In: Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 31, No. 4, 11.2006, p. 365-370.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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