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Steroid Pills May Not Help Disk Pain

Taking corticosteroid pills for 2 weeks may help people with sciatica move better, a new study finds. But the pills did not reduce pain any more than a placebo did. The study included 269 people who had endured back pain caused by a herniated disk for 3 months or less. The average was 4 weeks. They were randomly assigned to receive either prednisone pills or placebo pills. People took the pills for 3 weeks. Researchers assessed their pain and function before and after the treatment. Function improved more for the prednisone group than for the placebo group. But there was no difference between groups in measurements of pain. The Journal of the American Medical Association published the study. MedPage Today wrote about it May 19. 

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