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Which Meds are Best for Acute Low Back Pain?

  • EurekAlert!
Feb 22, 2023 4:04 pm

Acute low back pain (LBP) is a common cause of disability. An analysis in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research examined which non-opioid drugs are best for treating this condition.

The analysis, which included all randomized controlled trials published to date (18 studies with 3,478 patients), showed that muscle relaxants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could effectively and rapidly reduce symptoms.


  • Myorelaxants and NSAIDs were effective in reducing pain and disability in acute LBP at approximately one week.
  • The combination of NSAIDs and paracetamol was associated with a greater improvement than the use of NSAIDs alone
  • Paracetamol alone did not induce any significant improvement.
  • Placebo was not effective in reducing pain

“This is a first step towards the optimization of the management of acute low back pain. However, specific patient characteristics such as having allergies and comorbidities must always be taken into consideration,” said lead author Alice Baroncini, MD, PhD, of RWTH University Hospital in Germany. “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.”

Myorelaxants, NSAIDs, and NSAIDs with paracetamol could reduce pain and disability in patients with acute LBP.



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The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject