What is the next step if steroid injection does not work?

When one (or more) injections don't solve the problem, surgery is often the next recommended step. Most of the people we work with seek relief from back, knee, neck, or shoulder pain WITHOUT the need for surgery or other procedures. Epidural steroid injections may not give the expected results. Doctors can often recommend other options that can relieve pain, although they carry their own risks: they may prescribe opioids, a highly addictive pain reliever, for example.

Epidural steroid injections for back pain are sometimes given to those who experience symptoms of sciatica or lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), in which the spinal canal is affected by soft tissue degeneration, which can affect the lower back. Unfortunately, these injections don't work for many patients and are considered ineffective for long-term pain relief, leading many people to seek “pain clinics near me.” However, there may be hope to avoid lumbar fusion surgery for patients who have this condition and have not experienced relief with steroid injections. Epidural steroids provide weeks of pain relief for some people, months of relief for others, and eternal-type relief for a lucky few. According to Mayo Clinic, Dante is not alone in this experience, since “steroid injections don't work for everyone.

Here are some questions and answers about steroid injection therapy that fails and what can be done about it. Steroid injections are often not effective when trying to avoid lumbar fusion surgery and may not be suitable for all cases of back pain. Steroids have significant side effects that compromise cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and their healing ability. These injections are quick and relatively painless, making them a popular option for patients looking to lessen their pain.

An ESI involves injecting a local anesthetic and steroid medication directly into the space surrounding the spinal cord and nerve roots. If you have chronic pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis or sciatica and have tried steroid injections or other conventional treatments without success, you could be a candidate for this procedure that can help you relieve pain. These injections use a steroid solution that is injected into the spine to reduce inflammation and pain. Steroids are the tool of such practices, as they simply reduce inflammation and often symptoms.

Matthew M. Cress
Matthew M. Cress

Fitness Trainer. Lab technician. General food junkie. Supplement researcher.