Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included.
Specific interventions included in the review
Epidural steroid injections were compared with saline, midazolam and dextrose, bupivacaine, dry needling, procaine and lignocaine.
Participants included in the review
Patients with back pain and/or sciatica were included.
Outcomes assessed in the review
A range of outcomes including pain, sciatic nerve stretch tolerance and percentage of patients who underwent surgical treatment. Outcomes were judged to be positive if the authors concluded that the steroid injection was more effective than the reference treatment.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors do not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many of the authors performed the selection. Studies had to include one treatment regimen involving one or more epidural steroid injections, the papers had to be written in English and the participants had to suffer from back pain and/or sciatica. Abstracts and unpublished studies were excluded.