Up to 40 per cent of people with chronic lower back pain could have their condition cured by taking antibiotics.
Studies conducted at the University of Southern Denmark found that many cases of bad pain are caused by bacteria rather than muscular and spinal issues, so a course of simple drugs can work as adequate treatment.
It is estimated that around five million people suffer from back problems in the UK, but the cause if often difficult to determine.
Treatment of back pain currently costs the NHS in excess of £1 billion each year, but the Danish study found that four out of ten people could be cured by taking a three month dose of antibiotics costing just £114.
John O’Dowd, president of the British Society for Back Pain Research, warned that more research will need to be carried out before doctors get carried away with the study's findings.
"This is definitely something we need to take seriously but the results are very surprising and this is an area where there is a great deal of uncertainty," he stated.
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