Antibiotics Cure Lower Back Pain?

Can Antibiotics Cure Lower Back PainA group of researchers in Denmark recently discovered a 90-day course of antibiotics led to a 75% success rate in reducing or eliminating lower back pain for 29 patients who completed the study.

All participants had been diagnosed with a herniated disc and modic changes (MRI indicated swelling of vertebral bone tissue) in an earlier study. The working theory, now being tested in a larger study, is anaerobic bacterial infection in the patients’ herniated disc tissue led to inflammation and lower back pain.

This is promising news for chronic lower back pain sufferers. But like many conventional medicines there’s a downside. Antibiotics, including Amoxicillin-clavulanate used in this study, often come with side effects. Three of the participants (out of 32 who started the treatment) dropped out due to severe diarrhea. No word on how many had the trouble but put up with it in an attempt to end their back pain. Other undesirable side effects of amoxicillin can include fever, nausea, headache, thrush, hives and even seizures.

Antibiotics are also associated with a potentially more dangerous weakening of the immune system. Think of your immune system like a muscle. As it is used it grows stronger. Allowing your body’s natural defense mechanisms to fight off bacterial invaders builds immunity. Using antibiotics to fight your body’s battles essentially atrophies your body’s immune response leading to a harder fight the next time the same bacteria come back.

So yes, antibiotics kill bad bacteria. But they also kill off good flora in the intestines. This breakdown of the normal intestinal balance between good bacteria, bad bacteria and yeast in the intestines increases risk of malabsorption syndromes, food allergies, and parasitic infection.

Perhaps most frightening, antibiotic use is also linked to cancer. A recent Finnish study published in the International Journal of Cancer tracked over 3 million individuals with no history of cancer. It found increased use of antibiotics directly increased risk of cancer – by as much as 37% over the following six years.

Fortunately there is another option for helping your body naturally fight off bacterial infections with less risk of side effects than even “milder” antibiotics. Unlike antibiotics it even helps fight off viral infections, which can also lead to painful vertebral inflammation and lower back pain. This alternative is called systemic enzyme therapy.

Also called proteases, systemic proteolytic enzymes taken on an empty stomach enter the circulation system through the stomach or intestinal lining. There they break down excess fibrin which causes internal scar tissue to form, breaks down virus carrying proteins, and fights inflammation from bacterial origin as well.

Antibiotics can be an important tool for fighting off life threatening bacterial infections. Too often they are used when unnecessary to the detriment of the patient. While systemic enzyme therapy isn’t for everyone – including those taking antibiotics – it is a useful natural alternative to antibiotics worth exploring when looking for relief from lower back pain and other inflammation related ailments.

Related Clinical Studies:

Albert, HB; Manniche, C; Sorensen, JS; Deleuran, BW. Antibiotic treatment in patients with low-back pain associated with Modic changes Type 1 (bone oedema): a pilot study. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2008 Dec;42(12):969-73.
Albert, HB et al.: Modic changes; possible causes and relation to low back pain. Medical Hypotheses. 2008;70(2):361-8.
Kilkkinen, A et al.: Antibiotic use predicts an increased risk of cancer. International journal of cancer. 2008 Nov 1;123(9):2152-5.
Netti, C; Bandi, G. L.; Pecile, A.: Anti-inflammatory action of proteolytic enzymes of animal, vegetable or bacterial origin administered orally compared with that of known antiphlogistic compounds. II Farmaco Ed. Pr. 27: 453 (1972).
Inderst, R.: Systemic enzyme therapy. Journal of Pharmacy 52 (1992).
Filed Under: Lower Back PainJesse Cannone
Written By: February 25,2010

3 thoughts on “Antibiotics Cure Lower Back Pain?”

  1. Gary Steinberg says:

    I was in the hospital last week for a bout of diverticulitis and was being given both Cipro and Flagyl introvenously for five days and one day orally. My lower back and hip pain that I have been suffering with for several years improved to a negligible amount of pain. This was a better result for my back than I have gotten from many injections, including a rhizotomy. Unfortunately, approximately 48 hours after ceasing the medication, because of many of the reactions discussed in the article above, my pain has returned. I found this website looking for a possible correlation.

  2. wtrcolor says:

    I had a similar situation where I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my L5 lumbar, along with being diagnosed with Degenerated Disc Disease, which also affected my right hip (which was swelled) along with affecting my sciatic nerve that traveled down my right leg in 2008. The pain was so bad that I could barely walk and when I did walk I needed a cane to do so. This went on for almost 2 years getting worse as time went on until I went to an oral surgeon and needed a root canal. After the root canal I was prescribed antibiotics and I noticed that the pain in my back, my leg and sciatic never disappeared.

    I was pain free for 4 months and it returned again. I suffered for another 10 months until again I was put on an antibiotic and again my lower back, hip and sciatic nerve pain went away again. This time I was pain free for about 5 months only to have the pain creep up on me once again in my lower back, hip, and sciatic nerve.

    I am now seeing a chiropractor for my back and found out that my SI joint is out of line along with a twisted pelvis with some issues in my lower back as well.
    So far there isn’t much relief, although I am told that with my multiple issues it could take longer than normal for my body to respond to his treatments.

    I was also put on an antibiotic again this past week and I am waiting to see if a 3rd time will prove true in regards to my pain in my lower back, hip and sciatic nerve goes away. So far to day after taking antibiotics for only 2 days I notice an improvement in my hip. (swelling an heat in that area has gone away). Improvement in my lower back is noticeable and no pulling or pain from the sciatic nerve down my right leg.

    I am convinced that the antibiotic I took (all 3 times) was the reason my pain, swelling etc. went away and I hope that there is more research being done on this subject matter to help all those people out there suffering from back pain, hip pain and sciatica pain.

  3. Fibromyalgia Suffer says:

    I also have had a cure of lower back pain using antibiotics.I have been suffering from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia for over 20 years.Have always had strange migrating muscle pains due to these unknown conditions.For the last 8 months I have had a nagging painful lower muscle back pain that just wouldn’t let up.A week ago I got an straph infected finger and had to take a gram positive antibiotic Cephalexin 1000mg per day. Within 4 days the lower muscle back pain disappeared.My thinking is my chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia condition could be a baterial infection like a Mycoplasma infection.Have been reading that Mycoplasma infections can cause all sorts of strange symptoms notably muscle pains.Would explain a host of complaints that my conditions have presented over the years.I have over the years been tested for all kinds of viral and bacterial diseases all tests have come back clean.My doctor put me on a long courses of doxycycline for 3 months at a time without a cure several years ago.So its strange that the back pain has just now disappeared.This is a very interesting article, I hope a break through comes along. I believe allot of health conditions are due to once harmless bacterial infections causing now major illnesses due to weakened immune system responses cause by environmental toxic overload that wasn’t an issue in the past.Who knows maybe old age and all common diseases are really caused by an accumulation of bacterial infections which breakdown the host.

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