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Injection for non-specific low back pain

Patients with low back pain without sciatica are sometimes prescribed injections with anaesthetic or steroids to manage their pain.

Sciatica is pain in your leg, sometimes with tingling, numbness and weakness that starts in your lower back and travels down your buttock into your legs.

Does it work?

Research shows that these injections do not work for people with nonspecific back pain without sciatica. We recommend instead other treatments, like special exercise programmes or going to specialised pain clinics.

How can I be referred?

As the intervention is ineffective, it is not routinely commissioned by the NHS. This means that it won’t be routinely funded.

However, if your Doctor thinks that you may benefit from this intervention, they can apply to the Individual Funding Request (IFR) panel. The IFR panel will then assess the application and make a decision about your treatment.

The IFR panel meets weekly and aims to consider cases within 14days. The panel’s decision will be communicated to you by letter if you are an adult or by letter to your GP if you are the guardian of a child applying for funding.

If your IFR application is rejected (meaning that your surgery will not be funded by the NHS), then you or your GP has the right to appeal to the IFR panel against this decision within 90days. The panel is independent to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).