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Antibiotics for back pain? A revolutionary study says yes

The research means that many cases of chronic back pain were not due to muscular problems or spinal issues but rather bacterial infections.

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Scientists in Denmark have discovered that chronic lower back pain can often be cured with a simple round of antibiotics. (Al Bello/AFP/Getty Images)

A new study has shown that up to 40 percent of chronic lower back pain can be cured by antibiotics.

The Guardian reported that the findings were so shocking that one spinal surgeon said it was worthy of a Nobel prize.

"This is vast. We are talking about probably half of all spinal surgery for back pain being replaced by taking antibiotics," said Peter Hamlyn, a consultant neurological and spinal surgeon at University College London hospital, reported the Guardian.

"Make no mistake this is a turning point, a point where we will have to re-write the textbooks. It is the stuff of Nobel prizes," he continued.

The research means that many cases of chronic back pain were not due to muscular problems or spinal issues but rather bacterial infections.

In the past, bacterial infections and back pain were only linked in exceptional cases.

Now scientists at the University of Southern Denmark said that between 20 and 40 percent of chronic lower back pain is from bacterial infections.

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The research took the form of two studies.

The first showed that bacteria invaded slipped disks in the back and caused painful inflammation.

Half of those patients with slipped disks tested positive for the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes that also causes acne.

The second, the patients tested their theory on 162 chronic back pain sufferers.

They found that 80 percent of patients responded to the antibiotic treatment.

This was revolutionary and maybe the closest we'll ever get to a magic pill after years of pain.

The research was published in two articles in the European Spine Journal.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/130509/antibiotics-back-pain-revolutionary-study-says-yes