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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 07

Future Sci OA



Chronic low back pain, Modic changes and low-grade virulent infection: efficacy of antibiotic treatment.



Chronic low back pain (CLBP) has consistently been associated with the longest number of years lived with a disability in global studies, while commonly used treatments for CLBP are largely ineffective. In 2013 a randomized, double-blind, controlled study demonstrated significant improvements in CLBP patients demonstrating Modic changes type 1 on their MRI scans and undergoing long-term oral antibiotic treatment (100 days). Much of the ensuing debate has focused on whether this was a true infection or contamination. Newer and more advanced technologies clearly point to an ongoing low-grade infection. We have reviewed all of the clinical trials published in the recent past and conclude that there is compelling evidence for the effect of long-term oral antibiotic treatment for this patient group.