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Injecting steroid medications directly into the back is a common treatment for low back pain. According to, some low back pain relief “may be long lasting and some may only be temporary,” depending on the type of injection.

Neurosurgeon Steven Morgan, MD, PhD, said injections are often used after medications and physical therapy to avoid surgery. While injections are a nonsurgical option that often provides relief, they are often not a cure. “With these injections, patients are learning to cope with their disease,” Dr. Morgan said. “In some cases, they are teaching you to accept disability, not beat it.”

Some patients receive three to four injections a year. Research also shows epidural injections, commonly used in back pain, are systemic and can affect bone density and glucose control.

When conservative measures have failed to provide relief, spine surgery can often offer the opportunity to get off medications and with the right lifestyle changes, live pain free.

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