There is general agreement that patients with acute nonspecific spine pain or nonlocalizable lumbosacral radiculopathy (without neurologic signs or significant neurologic symptoms) require only conservative medical management. Patients should abstain from heavy lifting or other activities that aggravate the pain. Bed rest is not helpful and has been shown to delay recovery. 9 Bed rest may be recommended for the first few days for patients with severe pain with movement. Recommended medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin. If there are complaints of muscle spasm, muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine may be used in the acute phase of pain. Narcotic analgesia should be avoided, in general, but it can be prescribed in cases of severe acute pain.
Side effects can be serious when you're on a steroid. Mixing alcohol with a large amount of steroids may increase this risk, although this is uncertain. Some serious side effects include pancreatitis, coughing up blood, swelling, rapid weight gain, eye pain, seeing halos, low potassium (which can cause an uneven heartbeat, muscular weakness, and other effects), and dangerously high blood pressure, which can be indicated by a severe headache, seizure, uneven heartbeat, chest pain, and other symptoms. Less serious symptoms caused by steroid use include insomnia, mood changes, acne, slower healing, dizziness, and changes in the shape or location of body fat. These side effects may be made worse with the use of alcohol, particularly in stomach-related symptoms. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms related to steroid and alcohol use, contact a medical professional immediately for care.