Interventional Procedures Now Included In American Pain Society's Low Back Guideline
- Invasive diagnostics, such as provocative discography, facet joint block and sacroliliac joint block tests, have not been proven to be accurate for diagnosing various spinal conditions, and their ability to effectively guide therapeutic choices and improve ultimate patient outcomes is uncertain.
- Epidural stenois injections are an option for short-term pain relief for persistent radiculopathy (radiating low back pain caused by a herniated disc). Other interventional therapies, such as local injections, prolotherapy, botulinum toxin (botox) injection, facet joint injection, sacroliliac joint injection, radiofrequency denervation and intradiscal electrothermal therapy are not supported by convincing, consistent evidence of benefits from randomized trials.
- Surgery to treat radiculopathy and spinal stenosis is effective, though the benefits diminish over time.
- Effectiveness of surgery for non-radicular low back pain is less certain, with some studies showing no benefits compared to intensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation. In addition, a significant proportion of patients experience suboptimal outcomes including persistent pain or functional deficits following surgery.