The effectiveness of intradermal sterile water injection for low back pain in the emergency department: A prospective, randomized controlled study

Published:January 20, 2021DOI:



      Low back pain (LBP) is a common musculoskeletal complaint among emergency department (ED) admissions. In this study, it was aimed to compare the effectiveness of systemic treatment with intradermal sterile water injection (ISWI) treatment protocol combined with systemic therapy in patients with LBP of unclear chronicity.


      A prospective randomized, unblinded, controlled clinical study was conducted on patients admitted to the ED for LBP of unclear chronicity. One hundred twelve patients were randomly assigned to two groups; Group ISWI (n = 56) administered ISWI in the LBP region of patients along with systemic intravenous dexketoprofen therapy, while the other group (n = 56) received only systemic intravenous dexketoprofen therapy. The treatment methods' effectiveness was compared by measuring the pain intensity with the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) at admission, 10th minutes, 20th minutes, 30th minutes, and 24 h later. Also, opioid and analgesic consumptions in 24 h after treatment and patient satisfactions were compared.


      In the treatment of LBP, ISWI treatment was found to be more effective in relieving pain than systemic therapy alone (p < 0.001). Also, it was observed that opioid consumption in the ED and analgesic consumption within 24 h after treatments were decreased in the ISWI group (p < 0.001). The patient satisfaction in the ED was statistically increased (p < 0.001).


      In this unblinded study, ISWI with systemic therapy improved pain outcomes more than systemic therapy alone. Further research is needed to determine whether this was due entirely to placebo effect.


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