TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Doctors often prescribe oral steroids (Medrol) to treat sciatic symptoms – often caused by a herniated lumbar disk.
But a new study finds steroids are no more effective than a placebo for the pain and provide only modest improvement in function.
Sciatica affects about one in 10 people in their lifetime, the researchers said. For this study, 269 people with sciatica were randomly assigned to take an oral steroid (prednisone) or a placebo for 15 days. The participants were followed for up to a year.
“When we compared the prednisone to placebo, there was a modest improvement in function,” said study researcher Dr. Harley Goldberg, director of spine care services at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center in California. People reported they could go about their daily activities somewhat better than before.
However, “when we compared the pain [between the two groups], there was actually no difference,” he said.
Dr. Kennedy Comment: Many nutritional proponents suggest a “high inflammatory/metabolic syndrome” diet directly influences the pain (and thus level of disability) from HNP. In fact Dr. Seamen reports that MMR and other pain/inflammatory mediators are only “turned on” via inflammatory dietary influences….without them HNP remains “benign”. Perhaps those showing non-response are already too systemically inflamed and even steroids can only provide modest benefit.