Low back pain and osteopathy

Efficacy and safety of analgesics in patients with low back pain

Study finds lack of high certainty evidence on the efficacy and safety of analgesics for low back pain

Despite nearly 60 years of research, there is still a lack of high certainty evidence on the effectiveness and safety of commonly used painkillers (analgesics) for short bouts of low back pain, finds an analysis of the evidence published by The BMJ.

The researchers say that until higher quality trials comparing analgesics with each other are published, "clinicians and patients are advised to take a cautious approach to manage acute non-specific low back pain with analgesic medicines."

Analgesics such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, and codeine are widely used to treat acute non-specific low back pain, defined as pain lasting less than six weeks. But evidence for their comparative effectiveness is limited.

Wewege, M.A., et al. (2023) Comparative effectiveness and safety of analgesic medicines for adults with acute non-specific low back pain: systematic review and network meta-analysis. BMJ. doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-072962.

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