High dosages of oral corticosteroids taken daily for prolonged periods of time can have serious systemic side effects including bone loss ( osteoporosis), increased risk of infections and diabetes and cataracts, thinning of skin, stretch marks, increased facial/body hair growth, acne, fluid retention, weight gain with redistribution of fat (fat deposits on back and face, thinning of limbs), muscle weakness, decreased resistance to infections, stomach ulcers, mood swings, insomnia, suppression of the body's own production of cortisol, etc.
Yes. It is possible to actually destroy or “burn” the nerves that innervate painful facet joints with the Facet Joint Neurotomy/Radiofrequency Ablation procedure. This is an outpatient procedure similar to Facet Joint Injection, but instead of injecting medication to reduce facet joint inflammation, the physician places a needle next to the nerves that innervate the painful facet joints, heats the tip of the needles with radiofrequency energy, and selectively destroys these nerves. A successful outcome following Facet Joint Neurotomy/Radiofrequency Ablation can lead to pain relief that lasts for up to 18 months. Not all patients with neck or back pain are a candidate for this procedure. In fact, patients must have a positive response to a diagnostic nerve block procedure before this next step is performed.