There is no conclusive evidence that radiation at small amounts delivered by a CT scan causes cancer. Large population studies have shown a slight increase in cancer from much larger amounts of radiation, such as from radiation therapy. Thus, there is always concern that this risk may also apply to the lower amounts of radiation delivered by a CT exam. When a CT scan is recommended by your doctor, the expected benefit of this test outweighs the potential risk from radiation. You are encouraged to discuss the risks versus the benefits of your CT scan with your doctor or radiologist, and to explore whether alternative imaging tests may be available to diagnose your condition.
Two meta-analyses provide strong evidence that muscle relaxants are helpful in the treatment of nonspecific acute low back pain. 24 , 25 For example, patients receiving cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) were significantly more likely to report improvement in low back pain symptoms at two weeks than patients receiving placebo (NNT = 3). 24 Muscle relaxants are most beneficial in the first one or two weeks of treatment. There is some evidence that skeletal muscle relaxants lead to additional improvement when used with NSAIDs. 25 , 26 Various skeletal muscle relaxants are similar in effectiveness. 25 , 27