A study has found a drug commonly prescribed to treat lower back pain is actually ineffective. The drug, Pregabalin has been said to be no better at controlling pain than a placebo, according to medical experts.
Pregabalin is commonly prescribed all over the world as a treatment to relieve chronic lower back pain syndromes such as lumbar spinal stenosis. It’s this issue that leads to many elderly people undergoing spinal surgery. It causes uncomfortable shooting pains, tingling, and numbness in the lower back, buttocks, and legs, often known as sciatica.
The pain is caused by a compression of the nerves in the back, which usually happens because the spinal canal becomes more narrow as vertebrae, discs, muscles and ligaments in the spinal column become worn away with age.
The pain associated with the condition tends to rear it’s head when standing or walking. So, as part of the study, researchers asked people with lumbar spinal stenosis to report on their pain levels whilst walking on a treadmill.
Researchers found there was no significant difference in the levels of pain experienced by those taking the drug and those that were given a placebo.
Lead author Dr John Markman, of the University of Rochester, said: ‘Chronic low back pain is one of the most common reasons why older adults go to the doctor. Doctors have looked for alternatives to opioids, a group of drugs used to control pain but that are addictive and have many side effects. So they have increasingly turned to drugs like Pregabalin to help patients manage their pain, even though there has been no credible evidence to show they are effective for this problem.”
Aside from pain control medication, treatment for lower back pain is often difficult and should only be prescribed by qualified professionals.
Improvements made with correct assessment and tailored exercise programmes can be life changing to those suffering from lower back pain. As a Level 4 Lower Back Pain Specialist, you’ll have the knowledge and expertise to get clients back to everyday life, with the prescription of effective exercise regimes, improved posture and a greatly improved quality of life.
Speak to the Focus Training team about our Lower Back Pain Course!