Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

A couple years ago, I had a steroid injection for sciatica. It helped clear the problem up in no time. Now I'm having similar symptoms in my arm. Would a steroid injection help me?

Answer:

Painful symptoms in the neck that go down the arm are called cervical radiculopathy. Pain, numbness, and weakness are common with this condition. Pressure on the nerve as it leaves the spinal cord and travels down the arm is the cause of these symptoms.

Sciatica is a similar pattern of symptoms down the leg. Pressure or irritation of the sciatic nerve is the source of these painful symptoms. Steroid injection into the space around the spinal cord or spinal nerve has been of some help to many patients with this problem.

Studies do not show that the results are enough to use steroid injections on a regular basis. Although the injections are safe, they aren't always effective or effective enough to warrant their use.

Right now there isn't enough data from studies to show that steroid injection is a good treatment plan for cervical radiculopathy. It may be best if you had a thorough assessment by a medical doctor first to find out the cause of the problem. There may be a better treatment choice for you. Epidural Steroids Fall Short. In The BACK Letter. March 2007. Vol. 22. No. 3. Pp. 1, 31.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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