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Disc Herniations and Antibiotics
May 13, 2013 - Dr. Greg Walsh
You may have heard about a recent study that was published in The European Spine Journal that offered an insightful new take on disc herniations. The University of Southern Denmark has issued a report identifying the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes in a small portion of patients suffering from prolonged disc herniations. Through a twelve month trial, a group of patients were given a steady dose of antibiotics in an effort to reduce pain stemming from their condition. The results showed this group fared much better at achieving pain relief than a control group (receiving a placebo), prompting many news outlets to proclaim an exciting new cure for back pain.
While the discovery could provide a pain relief outlet for some people suffering from chronic disc pain, most people will be disappointed with this miracle cure. Only a small number of people that suffer back pain have herniated discs and within that group is yet another small percentage that have exacerbated symptoms from the bacteria. The other negative to a steady stream of antibiotics is that the more of them you take, the less effective they become.
If you are suffering from acute back pain, the best course of action is to immediately ice the area and get some rest. Have your chiropractor check the area for misalignments and when the symptoms subside follow up with regular exercise and stretching. If you suspect you may have a disc herniation or another malady that could be referring pain to your back, you may need an MRI to confirm a diagnosis
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