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A cure for back pain?

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Tags: back pain, pain problems, spine

One article on PainSci cites Bogduk 2010: The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain

PainSci commentary on Bogduk 2010: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

Excellent analysis of the potential importance of an amazing study of methylene blue injections for discogenic low back pain (see Peng 2010). And … too good to be true? See also Kallewaard 2019.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

In esteemed disciplines of science, such as physics, truth is not defined by a single publication. If a laboratory announces a new discovery, it is standard practice for other laboratories to promptly replicate the study, in order to confirm or refute its observations. The discovery does not become fact until at least one other laboratory confirms the observations, but preferably there should be multiple, independent confirmations. This principle should apply to the results reported by Peng et al. in this issue [8].

Peng et al. [8] announced astounding results, unprecedented and unrivalled in the history of research into the treatment of chronic discogenic low back pain. The treatment was simply an injection of 1ml of 1% methylene blue and 1ml of 2% lignocaine. In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial this treatment achieved reductions of mean scores from 72 to 20 for pain, and from 48 to 13 for disability. Some 19% of their patients achieved complete relief of pain, at 24months, with a further 72% having only slight pain that required no medication. For these outcomes the number needed to treat was 2. Against these figures, the results of surgery, rehabilitation, behavioural therapy, and any other treatment for back pain pale into insignificance.

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This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: