Back pain and sciatica guidelines are out for consultation

A draft partial update of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 2016 guideline on the assessment of low back pain and sciatica  (GID-NG10169) has been published for consultation.


Updated recommendations about the use of medicines  to treat sciatica have been made.

The draft guideline says that people with acute or chronic sciatica should not be offered gabapentinoids, other antiepileptics, oral corticosteroids or benzodiazepines. It also recommends that people with chronic sciatica should not be offered opioids.

Similarly, NICE said there was no evidence on the use of antidepressants for sciatica although it recognised they are commonly prescribed for this condition and may be of benefit in some people.

The CSP will  be responding to NICE and encourages all members treating low back pain patients, including prescribers to take part in the consultation.

CSP professional adviser Julie Blackburn said: 'This is an opportunity for members to read the update to the draft guidelines with reference to the particular focus on the changes to pharmacological management of low back pain patients.'

The consultation closes at 5pm, Thursday 30 July. 

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