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Can antibiotics ease low back pain?

21 Feb 2016
Can antibiotics ease low back pain? article image

Researchers at Monash University are trialling the use of antibiotics to treat back pain.

Low back pain affects four in five Australians and is not simply one condition, with many possible causes and different treatments.

Three years ago, a Danish study found many of the worst cases of chronic back pain were due to infection caused when bacteria from the bloodstream entered a slipped or ruptured disc, through a crack on its surface.

In that study, antibiotics cured more than 40 percent of patients.

Monash will now investigate the further use of a broad spectrum antibiotic, Amoxicillin clavulanic acid, to treat 170 patients who have had low back pain for more than three months.

The randomised, controlled trial will be based at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

One group will take the antibiotics for 90 days, while the other will take a placebo.

Study participants will undergo a screening lower back MRI, screening pathology swabs and the screening and monitoring of blood samples.

Monash University is inviting volunteers aged between 18 and 60 years and who have suffered from low back pain for three months or longer to join the trial.

If you’re interested in participating or finding out more information about the project, contact:

Ph: 03 9903 0553

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