Corticosteroids for Spine Conditions

Corticosteroids can be given by injections or taken by mouth (oral steroids). Steroids are very effective in reducing swelling. Drugs in this category include prednisone and methylprednisolone.

A corticosteriod shot in a joint can offer some pain relief for up to four to six months. Oral steroids are usually taken only for one to two weeks.

Serious side effects can occur if a person takes these drugs for a long time, including weight gain, stomach ulcers and mood swings. It is very important to take this medication only as prescribed.