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There’s no shortage of patients reporting to urgent care centers with back pain being their chief complaint. A new study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases confirms they’re not likely to get satisfactory relief from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), though. Machado, et al looked at 35 randomized, placebo-controlled trials that compared the efficacy and safety of NSAIDs with placebo for spinal pain. They found that treatment effects met the threshold for clinical importance in only three of 14 pooled analyses, ultimately concluding “there are no simple analgesics that provide clinically important effects for spinal pain over placebo. There is an urgent need to develop new drug therapies for this condition.” Until there is, providers may be better off referring to a specialist or physical therapist. Doing your homework and finding competent providers could end up not only helping your patient, but also be a step toward more referral relationships that could bring in new patients.

‘Take Two Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning’ Doesn’t Cut It for Back Pain