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Millions Of Patients Given New Hope Of Beating Their Back Pain: 40 % Could Be Cured With Antibiotics

It’s been reported that 1 in 3 people will suffer with back related issues at some point in their lives. So the discovery of a new treatment method by Danish researchers has offered many people new hope when tackling their back pain.

The Guardian reported that a large percentage of sufferers could be helped through the prescription of antibiotics. Surgeons world-wide are reviewing the study which analysed tissue taken from patients with back problems. The samples were tested for signs of infection and a large proportion, 40%, displayed signs of bacteria and 80% of those carried a very specific type of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes.

Normally this bacteria is not harmful. However when a disc is injured, the area becomes infected with Propionibacterium acnes which causes further damage. According to the researchers, this can be reversed with a 100 day course of antibiotics.

Dr Deane Halfpenny, Pain Management Specialist at The London Orthopaedic Clinic says; “The study carried out by Dr Albert and his colleagues is noteworthy indeed as there appears to be fairly convincing evidence that in certain types of back pain there may be a role for the use of antibiotics.

“It has to be stressed at this point that prescribing antibiotics for back pain indiscriminately would be a big mistake.  Prolonged antibiotic therapy should not be undertaken lightly, there are potential side effects such as intractable diarrhoea and thrush.  There are also problems with the development of antibiotic resistance in certain organisms.   Those enrolled into the study had to meet a very specific inclusion criterion, which is why the results demonstrate improvement – it’s about selecting the right patient for the treatment.

“Back pain needs to be carefully evaluated, investigated and accurate diagnosis sought by experts.   In the forthcoming weeks it will be very interesting to observe how the world responds to this study and what the consensus view is of the experts.  Here at London Orthopaedic Clinic we will be following the discussions that take place very closely, and working on a protocol for the management of this very specific type of back pain.”


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