Back Pain

Dec 15, 2017 Issue
Gabapentinoids for Chronic Low Back Pain: Limited Evidence, More Harm Than Benefit [POEMs]

The existing data on gabapentinoids for chronic low back pain are limited in number and quality. The amount of pain reduction is low to moderate, and the rate of adverse effects is high. The few studies that assessed function found no improvement.

Sep 15, 2017 Issue
Low Back Pain: American College of Physicians Practice Guideline on Noninvasive Treatments [Practice Guidelines]

The American College of Physicians has released a guideline, which partially updates its 2007 guideline, to provide recommendations for noninvasive treatment of acute (duration less than four weeks), subacute (duration of four to 12 weeks), and chronic (duration longer than 12 weeks) low back pain. It does not address topical or epidural therapies.

Sep 1, 2017 Issue
Noninvasive Treatments for Low Back Pain [Implementing AHRQ Effective Health Care Reviews]

What are the benefits and harms of noninvasive treatments for acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain?

Aug 15, 2017 Issue
Pregabalin Does Not Decrease the Pain of Sciatica [POEMs]

Pregabalin does not relieve pain in patients with sciatica.

Apr 1, 2017 Issue
Placebo Plus Message of Benefit Decreases Chronic Low Back Pain [POEMs]

These investigators gave twice daily placebo to patients with chronic back pain and told them it was placebo. They also told them that placebos can have a pronounced effect (which is true). The addition of placebo to usual care improved patients' pain and disability scores over the three weeks of the study.

Dec 1, 2016 Issue
Lumbar Fusion No Better Than Exercise and Therapy in the Long Term [POEMs]

This trial is a good example of how to do just about everything wrong to get the results you want. The authors did not conceal allocation, did not mask anyone in the study, used an unvalidated and subjective primary outcome, and downplayed the intention-to-treat analysis. Funding for the original st...

Nov 1, 2016 Issue
Opioid Analgesia Hard to Tolerate and Not Effective for Chronic Low Back Pain [POEMs]

Effective pain control in patients with low back pain is still elusive. Approximately one-half of all patients with low back pain who take an opioid analgesic will stop treatment because of ineffectiveness or adverse effects. Patients staying the course will experience, on average, a small decrease ...

Apr 1, 2016 Issue
Pilates for the Treatment of Low Back Pain [Cochrane for Clinicians]

There is low- to moderate-quality evidence that Pilates exercises taught by certified instructors improve pain and reduce disability in patients with chronic low back pain. It is unclear whether a Pilates regimen is superior to other exercise plans for the treatment of low back pain. Adverse effects are uncommon.

Feb 15, 2016 Issue
Naproxen Alone May Be Best for Acute Low Back Pain [POEMs]

Naproxen alone is as effective as naproxen plus oxycodone/acetaminophen or naproxen plus cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) in reducing pain and improving function in adults with acute musculoskeletal LBP without radicular symptoms. Adverse events were significantly more common in patients additionally trea...

Feb 15, 2016 Issue
Epidural Steroid Not Better Than Placebo Injection for Sciatica and Spinal Stenosis Pain and Function [POEMs]

It is hard to figure out what to do with these results. On the one hand, steroid injection did not provide a significant benefit compared with placebo injection in patients with radicular pain or spinal stenosis. However, part of the reason for this may be the significant and sustained improvement of pain scores seen with the placebo injection.

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