It’s a common problem; over half of adults experience back pain at some point in their life.
The most likely treatment is a steroid injection.
However, new research suggests patients can get relief without the side effects linked to steroids.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins reviewed more than 3,000 patient records.
They found patients who had epidural steroid injections experienced the same amount of relief as those who had other fluid injected into the space around the spinal cord, including saline.
Experts say it appears injecting any type of fluid can act as a pain reliever.
However, they say more studies are needed before doctors skip steroids all together.
Steroids have side effects like increasing blood sugar, accelerating bone disease and slow wound healing.
Epidural injections were two times more effective than injections into the muscle.