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Comfrey Root Ointment Found to Reduce Lower Back Pain

Pain during movement and at rest reduced by 95.2 and 97.4 percent, respectively

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- An ointment made from comfrey root extract dramatically reduced lower back pain compared to placebo, according to a study published in the May 21 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Bruno M. Giannetti, M.D., of CRM Pharmaberatung GmbH in Rheinbach, Germany, and colleagues conducted a double-blind clinical trial in which 120 patients (mean age of 36.9 years) with lower back pain were randomized to receive treatment with a comfrey root extract ointment or a placebo ointment over five days.

The researchers found that pain intensity during standardized movement decreased a median of 95.2 percent for the patients using the comfrey root extract ointment, compared to 37.8 percent in the placebo group. Back pain at rest decreased a median of 97.4 percent in the comfrey root extract ointment group, compared to 39.6 percent in the placebo group, the authors note.

"The results of this clinical trial were clear-cut and consistent across all primary and secondary efficacy variables. Comfrey root extract showed a remarkably potent and clinically relevant effect in reducing acute back pain. For the first time a fast-acting effect of the ointment (one hour) was also witnessed," the authors conclude.

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