Scientists find better drug for treating low back pain

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Low back pain is a common, painful condition affecting the lower portion of the spine.

It is caused by injury to a muscle (strain) or ligament (sprain). Common causes include improper lifting, poor posture, lack of regular exercise, a fracture, a ruptured disc, or arthritis.

Often, the only symptom is a pain in the lower back. Most low back pain goes away on its own in two to four weeks. Physiotherapy and pain relievers can help. A few cases may require surgery.

In a study from RWTH University Hospital in Germany, scientists examined which non-opioid drugs are best for treating this condition.

The team used data from 18 studies with 3,478 patients and showed that muscle relaxants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could effectively and rapidly reduce symptoms.

The team also found the combination of NSAIDs and paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) was linked to a greater improvement than NSAIDs alone.

They say this is a first step toward the optimization of the management of acute low back pain.

However, specific patient characteristics such as allergies and comorbidities must always be taken into consideration.

Further research will need to focus on the identification of the type of drugs that not only offer the best and quickest pain relief but also show the lowest rate of symptom recurrence.

If you care about pain, please read studies about vitamins that could help reduce bone fracture risk, and drinking electrolytes may help reduce muscle pain.

For more information about wellness, please see recent studies about painkillers that may increase your risks of heart disease, and Krill oil could improve muscle health in older people.

The study was conducted by Alice Baroncini et al and published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

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