This article comes from the Toronto Star – The Full Article is Here but read this excerpt for starters:
As many as four in 10 cases of chronic lower back pain are probably caused by bacteria, and treatment with antibiotics may cure them, a study showed.
As many as 80 per cent of the participants with persistent back pain following a herniated disc and swelling in the spine reported an improvement after taking antibiotics three times daily for 100 days, Danish scientists wrote in research published by the European Spine Journal.
At first read, this would be really intriguing, and for many people it will be, and for many doctors, it will be, but I see some things right off the bat, that make me question this. I was able to read the abstract myself, and immediately found that the author of this Bloomberg Article either did not understand what he was reading when he read the study, or simply lied because they had a reason to… be it selling the news, or promoting a drug. Regardless, he needs to re-read the research.
Considering the Journal’s stated reason for being developed… no wonder. Devotion to surgery, not devotion to prevention, education and risk reduction. Nope. Devoted to surgery. The funny thing, if you read excerpts from the summits these groups hold, you will see things like “improve the human anatomy through surgical intervention”. Now it doesn’t take a Jesus Freak like myself to realize that their assumption is that the body is bad, and man can improve it. So, for all the evolutionists out there… does this mean that millions of years of evolution has failed? And for those like me… God failed? Or perhaps, we have actually been the ones who failed given the way we treat ourselves? Diet, exercise, posture, stress… doh! Read on from the Journal:
“European Spine Journal” is a publication founded in response to the increasing trend toward specialization in spinal surgery. The Journal is devoted to spine surgery and all related disciplines, including functional and surgical anatomy of the spine, biomechanics and pathophysiology, diagnostic procedures, and neurology. The aim of “European Spine Journal” is to support the further development of highly innovative European spine surgery and to provide an integrated and balanced view of diagnostic, research and treatment procedures that will enhance effective collaboration among specialists worldwide.
I would say this teeters on the potential good of surgery, but a little more aggressively than we like. So the article is indeed an interesting one. But the thing that the journalist who summarized the article missed, is that the stats involved, were of a special group of low back pain patients with specific modic type 1 changes. These changes occur when the internal scaffolding structure of the vertebrae are altered, primarily fractured internally. These fractures aren’t diagnosed as fractures, hence the terminology of modic changes.
My point is that these changes rarely occur in youthful patients, and occur in elderly about 30% of the time. Meaning, if we look at all low back patients, you probably will see about 10% of all patients with modic changes. Then from there, you will see the percentage of those with herniation of the disc at 25%, or 2.5% of all low back pain patients, and now 8 out of 10 of them will respond. Meaning 2% of all low back cases.
But here is the problem. When is the cure worse than the disease? They are talking about chronic antibiotic use, upwards of 90 days and pushing towards 6 months. Do you recall the JAMA article in 2004 that showed a huge increase risk of cancer from using antibiotics over 170 cumulative days in your life? That would happen really quickly if you take the suggested dosage time of 6 months (182 days).
Sure, in the end, there are a small percentage of people who have an infection causing pain. But the reality is that your best bet to health, is to pursue it. With a passion and a desire that drive your decisions. Period. There are a lot of docs out there talking about helping people. Step one to help, is to get people focused on the true story of health.
Be blessed and be well! - Dr. E