Radiculopathy and radiating low back pain in general practice

Antje Spijker-Huiges


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    Lumbosacral radicular syndrome is a painful and impairing condition, for which few evidence-based pain treatments are known. The pain syndrome is mostly self-limiting. However, the pain and impairment caused by this condition are often too intense for patients to ‘wait out’ the favourable natural prognosis. Since an inflammatory response around the nerve root is largely responsible for the complaints in LRS, an injection with corticosteroids might be of use. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medicines after all. In our study, we compared two patient groups. The one group received the usual general practice care, the other the usual general practice care plus a corticosteroid injection. Both groups were followed for one year using postal questionnaires regarding pain, disability, quality of life and costs. From the results we learned that the intervention group experienced significantly less pain and disability than the control group. These differences remained constant during the entire study period, but they were small: smaller than the pre-set threshold for clinical relevance. Clinical relevance is the magnitude of benefit a patient experiences with a certain amount of improvement. The intervention group also generated less costs than the control group. All in all, we think caution must be taken in implementing an invasive procedure of which the effect will probably be for patients to really benefit from it, even if it will save healthcare costs.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • van der Meer, Klaas, Supervisor
    • Berger, Marjolein, Supervisor
    • Winters, Jan, Co-supervisor
    • van Wijhe, Marten, Co-supervisor
    Datum van toekenning4-feb.-2015
    Plaats van publicatie[S.l.]
    Gedrukte ISBN's978-90-367-7335-5
    Elektronische ISBN's978-90-367-7334-8
    StatusPublished - 2015

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