- Back pain is commonly treated with Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- The effectiveness of NSAIDs in spinal pain has not been established
- The safety of NSAIDs is also an issue
Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) provide
similar relief of spinal pain as compared to placebo, and at the same time were
associated with side effects, finds a research team from Australia. Their
research was published in the Annals of
the Rheumatic Diseases.
Back pain is a common ailment for which people consult the doctor. The pain may arise from the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles or nerves of the back. Occupations that involve heavy physical activity with a lot of bending or twisting the back or lifting heavy weights are common causes of back pain. Conditions like fracture of the vertebrae, slipping out of intervertebral discs, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are more serious causes of back pain. Conditions like kidney stones and endometriosis in females that affect abdominal organs can also present with back pain.
While some of the causes of back pain like slipped disc could require surgical treatment, most cases of back pain are treated with exercises and painkillers. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which include ibuprofen and diclofenac are often prescribed, while more severe pain may require treatment with opioids. Opioids have been found to provide only minimal relief as compared to placebo. Paracetamol is ineffective for spinal pain.
- NSAIDs did provide some relief against pain and disability caused by spinal pain, but the effectiveness was similar to that of a placebo
- Six patients needed to be treated with NSAIDs to bring about significant pain relief in one patient
- Despite the fact that the medications were used for a median of only seven days, the risk of gastrointestinal reactions such as stomach ulcers and bleeding increased two and a half times
- Machado GC et al. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for spinal pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210597
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Dr. Simi Paknikar. (2017, February 08). Drugs may Not be the Best Treatment for Back Pain. Medindia. Retrieved on Aug 16, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/drugs-may-not-be-the-best-treatment-for-back-pain-167635-1.htm.
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Dr. Simi Paknikar. "Drugs may Not be the Best Treatment for Back Pain". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/drugs-may-not-be-the-best-treatment-for-back-pain-167635-1.htm. (accessed Aug 16, 2022).
Dr. Simi Paknikar. 2021. Drugs may Not be the Best Treatment for Back Pain. Medindia, viewed Aug 16, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/drugs-may-not-be-the-best-treatment-for-back-pain-167635-1.htm.