A recent preprint study investigated the efficacy of topical lidocaine for the treatment of chronic neck pain. The study used lidocaine patches with enhanced bioavailability in a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design. The results showed no significant difference in reducing average neck pain scores between the lidocaine and placebo patch groups. However, the lidocaine patches showed a higher success rate compared to placebo. Subgroup analyses indicated that individuals with a shorter duration of neck pain, lower baseline Neck Disability Index scores, and younger age were more likely to have positive treatment outcomes. Further research is needed to evaluate products with higher dosing and penetrance and to apply more stringent selection criteria based on phenotyping to potentially achieve more significant outcomes in chronic neck pain treatment.
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