A spinal corticosteroid injection places corticosteroids into tissue around the spine. Corticosteroids are drugs that reduce painful swelling and irritation. They are injected into the back with a needle.

The procedure is done to:

  • Reduce pain caused by swelling and irritation around the spine
  • Improve physical function for people with persistent low back pain and/or sciatica

Spinal injections are typically done when pain is not relieved by:

  • Rest
  • Ice and heat therapies
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Back exercises
  • Changes to the physical set-up of the work environment
  • Changes to physical activities, including work
  • Spinal manipulation