If you tend to follow medicine- and health-related news, then you’ve probably already heard about the recent studies conducted to test the effects antibiotics can have on back pain:

“The first study tested tissue samples from patients who had suffered from bulging, or herniated discs in their spines. Nearly 40 percent of those patients tested positive for bacteria. And the presence of bacteria was associated with a certain kind of bone swelling, called Modic type 1 changes, near the ruptured disc.

For the second study, researchers recruited 162 patients with Modic type 1 changes and chronic low back pain. They randomly assigned half to take a 14-week course of antibiotics, while the other half took placebo pills. After one year, the placebo group saw little change in their back pain, while the group that got antibiotics saw significant improvements in measures of pain and disability.

Taken together, the studies suggest that antibiotics could dispatch as many as 40 percent of all cases of chronic low back pain.

Lower back pain is notoriously tough to treat. Pain relievers and muscle relaxants often don’t touch it. It usually gets better over time on its own, but it also commonly comes back time and time again. Surgery is almost always considered a last resort for most patients because it makes the problem worse nearly as often as it helps. So a 40 percent “cure” rate, if it were true, would be a big deal.”

This quote was taken from an article written by Brenda Goodman for the Association of Health Care Journalists, who is dismayed and disappointed by the way in which her colleagues covered this story. So many were so quick to applaud the findings of these two studies, even throwing the idea of a Novel Prize around. However, according to Goodman, the studies in question were too small to really give us a definitive answer – and furthermore, the people behind the press may stand to profit off of this new push for antibiotics.

If you are interested, you may read the studies for yourself and draw your own conclusions. As stated before, it seems all studies conducted to date have been very small – and more will probably be done in the near future. So, the jury’s still out on this one.

detailIn the meantime, if you are one of the many people currently suffering from chronic back pain, why not give our BackJoy® Relief+ with Memory Foam a try? The portable back orthotic relieves and prevents back pain by automatically correcting sitting posture – no medications, shots or surgical procedures necessary. The revolutionary and scientific design of our Orthotic Cradling System™ allows the Relief+ to float your spinal system over any sitting surface (hard or soft) for all-day comfort and injury prevention.

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By Liana Orenstein