Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not dexamethasone epidural injections are effective in treating radicular pain in an adult population.

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three randomized controlled trials, two of which were published in 2012 and one in 2010, all English language.

DATA SOURCES: Three randomized controlled trials comparing dexamethasone epidural injections to saline injections. All articles were found using PubMed, Medline, and OVID.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Researchers measured pain associated with radicular pain using the Short McGill Pain Questionnaire, Numeric Pain Scale, and Oswestry Disability Index.

RESULTS: All three randomized controlled trials did display significant radicular pain relief with the use of an epidural steroid injection as compared to a saline injection. These three studies however did not display that dexamethasone was the most successful in treating radicular pain.

CONCLUSIONS: These three RCTs studies displayed significant radicular pain relief by receiving epidural steroid injection. Further research is warranted to compare the safety and efficacy of epidural injections verses physical therapy.