Antibiotic no ‘silver bullet’ for low back pain

Trial fails to support hypothesis that low back pain may be caused by low-grade infection
Clare Pain
MRI scans lumbar spine

Norwegian researchers have failed to replicate results of a trial showing a large effect of antibiotic treatment for chronic low back pain, casting doubt on a proposed aetiology of low-grade bacterial discitis in certain patients.

The original trial was carried out in Denmark in 2013 in 144 people with low-back pain, a history of disc herniation and type 1 Modic changes (bone oedema) on MRI.