Do anti-inflammatory drugs make back pain worse?

For many decades it has been the medical standard to treat pain with anti-inflammatory drugs.

However, a new series of studies challenges the conventional wisdom of using steroids and commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs to treat chronic back pain, suggesting they may instead prolong the pain.

It is believed that the drugs in question – dexamethasone and diclofenac – may provide short-term relief for back pain, but may also prevent the injury from healing.

dr David Rice is Associate Head of Research at AUT’s School of Clinical Sciences and President of the New Zealand Pain Society. He joins the show to discuss the new research.

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