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Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in acute low back pain

Evidence summaries
5.5.2008
Editors

Level of evidence: A

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective for patients with acute and chronic low-back pain without sciatica, although the effects are small. For patients with sciatica, there is no evidence that NSAIDs are more effective than placebo.

A Cochrane review «Roelofs PD, Deyo RA, Koes BW, Scholten RJ, van Tulder MW. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD000396. »1 (abstract «»1, review «»2) included 65 studies with a total of 11 237 subjects. In the studies that reported on non-sciatic/mixed acute low-back pain, the pooled WMD was -8.39 (95% CI -12.68 to -4.10), indicating a statistically significant effect in favour of NSAIDs compared to placebo. In the sciatica-only studies there was no statistical difference in effect between NSAIDs and placebo (WMD -0.16; 95% CI -11.92 to 11.52). The pooled RR for side effects was 1.35 (95% CI 1.09 to 1.68), indicating statistically significantly fewer side effects in the placebo group. In the four studies which compared NSAIDs with placebo for chronic low-back pain the pooled WMD was -12.40 (95% CI -15.53 to -9.26), indicating a statistically significant effect in favour of NSAIDs compared to placebo. The pooled RR for side effects was 1.24 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.43), indicating statistically significantly fewer side effects in the placebo group.

This document is linked to the following articles:

  • Alaselkäkipu 1

References

  1. Roelofs PD, Deyo RA, Koes BW, Scholten RJ, van Tulder MW. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD000396. «PMID: 18253976»PubMed
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