Efficiency Of Proteolytic Enzymes In Treating Lumbar Spine Osteoarthritis (Low Back Pain) Patients And Its Effects On Liver And Kidney Enzymes


Lumbar spine osteoarthritis (40-85% prevalence) is the degeneration of spine with remarkable narrowing of disc space and osteophytes formation that trigger pain in lower back. Pain in lower portion of back is now considered to be the second most commonly treated health issue in primary health care setups. This pain causes disability, functional loss and job absentees. Commonly pain is managed pharmacologically by NSAIDS but resulted in severe gastric side effects. The purpose of this research is to appraise the effects of the vegetal proteolytic enzyme in comparison with standard drug in treating low back pain in lumbar spine osteoarthritis patients. Forty men and women with lumbar spine osteoarthritis were recruited and divided into group 1, received aceclofenac 100mg tablet b.i.d as standard treatment, group 2, patients treated with aceclofenac 100 mg tablet b.i.d and enzyme supplements 250 mg b.i.d for 6 weeks. All the participants were evaluated for their body mass index, vital signs and liver/ kidney enzymes before and after treatment. Moreover intensity of pain were also measured through visual analogue scale (VAS), range of motion (ROM) and oswestry low back pain questionnaire (ODI) before treatment (0 week), 3rd week and 6th week of treatment. The enzyme group patients showed significantly diminished pain scores VAS from 7.10±1.29 to 5.85±1.531*** (P= 0.001), ODI score from 56.2±8.70 to 51.6±8.125*** (P=0.000), significantly diminished enzymes; ALP from 210.00±55.24 to 196.90±51.02 (P=0.054*) and serum creatinine from 0.97±0.153 to 0.87±0.139 (P= 0.035*) and improved quality of life. Hence, this study suggested that the enzyme supplements for 6 weeks have prolonged beneficial carry-over effects in comparison to standard treatment without producing any change in BMI (P>0.05) and vital signs (P> 0.05).

Importance of the study:

Low back pain is now become a worldwide problem and almost every individual face this painful condition once in their life. Pharmacological treatments including NSAIDS are first line treatment but they produce serious GIT side effects which may require safe, economical replacement like natural enzyme supplements.

Posted by: Dr. Hira Naeem, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Baqai Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan, Pakistan (01-Nov-2022)