Slipped discs, arthritis, and spinal stenosis (where bones push on nerves) are all common causes of back pain, but there is mounting evidence that bacteria also play a role.
Oral antibiotics have been found in studies to help with pain relief. However, because the majority of the medication is broken down before reaching the spine, the tablets must be taken for at least three months to be effective.
Long-term use increases the risk of diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and lack of appetite, as well as concerns about antibiotic resistance, which occurs when bacteria gain the capacity to resist treatments designed to kill them.
Persica Pharmaceuticals, located in Kent, has discovered a new treatment that includes injecting the PP353 antibiotic into the disc. This increases the amount of the drug reaching the bacteria, enabling patients to be treated with a single injection and lowering the risk of side effects and antibiotic resistance.
PP353 solidifies after injection, ensures that it remains within the disc, preventing bacteria from developing and causing pain.
It was shown to be safe and well tolerated in a preliminary trial at hospitals in Preston and Coventry. Scot Harris, 44, who has suffered lower back pain for five years, was one of the three study participants.
“The pain has dramatically reduced, and I can go swimming again and lead a more normal life that others take for granted,” said Harris.
A larger trial with 40 patients is now underway.
Lower back pain could be treated well with antibiotics, according to Michael McNicholas, a specialist orthopaedic surgeon at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“This groundbreaking work could transform life for millions of patients suffering with chronic back pain.”
Image Credit: Getty
You were reading: This antibiotic shot can help ease chronic back pain