Podcast 714: Intradermal Sterile Water for Back Pain - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 714: Intradermal Sterile Water for Back Pain

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Randomized controlled-trial evaluated intradermal injections of sterile water to manage low back pain versus an IV NSAID
  • Four intradermal injections of 0.1 cc sterile water in a square around the area of musculoskeletal pain
  • Reduction of pain was 7 points with the procedure and 2 points with the IV NSAID at 24 hours
  • 12% in the injection group versus 50% in the IV NSAID group needed opioids
  • 87% patient satisfaction in the injection group versus 16% patient satisfaction in the IV NSAID group


Tekin E, Gur A, Bayraktar M, Ozlu I, Celik BK. The effectiveness of intradermal sterile water injection for low back pain in the emergency department: A prospective, randomized controlled study. Am J Emerg Med. 2021;42:103-109. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2021.01.038

Summarized by John Spartz, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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