NSAIDs are effective for short-term relief of low-back pain

Jan 23, 2008

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; such as aspirin and ibuprofen) can help reduce symptoms of low back pain that doesn’t involve sciatica, a Cochrane Systematic Review has found.

Low back pain is a major health problem in western industrialised countries, but there is little conclusive evidence about the best ways to treat it. NSAIDs are the most frequently prescribed medication worldwide, and are commonly given to people with low back pain. The hope is that they will not only reduce pain symptoms, but also reduce any inflammation in the back that may be the cause of the pain.

To evaluate the effectiveness of these drugs, Cochrane Researchers considered data from 65 trials that met their inclusion criteria. These involved a total of 11,237 people. They found that:

- NSAIDs were more effective at reducing pain than placebos, although the effects were small and NSAIDs were associated with more adverse effects.

- Different types of NSAID appeared to be equally effective.

- Short-term use of selective COX-2 inhibitors had fewer (gastrointestinal) side effects than the other NSAIDs.

The researchers also compared the effects of NSAIDs and paracetamol, another drug used by people with low back pain. They concluded that NSAIDs and paracetamol were equally effective at relieving acute low back pain, but paracetamol had fewer side effects.

“Physicians and patients with acute low back pain therefore have a choice about whether to use a NSAID or paracetamol, and the decision should be driven by individual clinical circumstances,” says lead author Pepijn Roelofs who works in the Department of general Practice at Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“Most of these results came from studies of people who did not have sciatica, so we now need studies that look at whether NSAIDs have a role in helping those people as well,” says Roelofs

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

Explore further: New research demonstrates benefits of national and international device registries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU court clears stem cell patenting

34 minutes ago

A human egg used to produce stem cells but unable to develop into a viable embryo can be patented, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday.

EDAG car with textile skin set for Geneva show

52 minutes ago

Making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2015 is the EDAG Light Cocoon. This is promoted as a new dimension for lightweight construction, a sportscar with a textile outer skin panel. The EDAG Light Cocoon ...

Gift Guide: Home products come with connectivity

58 minutes ago

Do you really need an app to tell you to brush and floss? It seems every household appliance is getting some smarts these days, meaning some connection to a phone app and the broader Internet. But then what?

Sony emails show a studio ripe for hacking

1 hour ago

In the weeks before hackers broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio suffered significant technology outages it blamed on software flaws and incompetent technical staffers who weren't paying attention, ...

Recommended for you

New approach to particle therapy dosimetry

17 hours ago

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with EMRP partners, are working towards a universal approach to particle beam therapy dosimetry.

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

Dec 17, 2014

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bigwheel
not rated yet Jan 24, 2008
Try Phenocane, it is made from tumeric, works in 45 minutes and
is as good or better than any cox2 inhibitor, no know side effects

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.