Keywords: Lower back pain, NSAIDs (PubMed Search)
NSAIDs for lower back pain (LBP)
NSAIDs are recommended for first line treatment of lower back pain.
Ibuprofen (600mg), ketorolac (10mg) and diclofenac (50mg) were compared.
3 arm, double-blinded study in an ED population with musculoskeletal LBP.
66 patients in each arm.
Outcomes via telephone interview 5 days later
Primary outcome was improvement in Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ).
Lower scores indicate better LBP functional outcomes.
Secondary outcomes: Pain intensity and the presence of stomach irritation.
Baseline characteristics similar in 3 groups.
Results: No significant differences between 3 arms in primary outcome.
Ibuprofen 9.4, ketorolac 11.9, and diclofenac 10.9 (p = 0.34).
Ketorolac group reported less overall pain intensity at day 5.
Ketorolac group reported less stomach irritation that the other drugs ((p < 0.01).
While there was no differences in terms of functional outcomes, there may be a benefit of using ketorolac in terms of overall pain intensity and stomach irritation. This would benefit from further study in a larger population in order to draw definitive conclusions.
Irizarry E, Restivo A, Salama M, Davitt M, Feliciano C, Cortijo-Brown A, Friedman BW. A randomized controlled trial of ibuprofen versus ketorolac versus diclofenac for acute, nonradicular low back pain. Acad Emerg Med. 2021 Jun 16. doi: 10.1111/acem.14321. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34133820.