Paracetamol - No Better Than Placebo for Low Back Pain

Waters Family Chiropractic - Paracetamol Placebo.jpg

So, you may have heard the news. According to a study published on April Fools Day 2015, Paracetamol has been deemed useless in the treatment of low back pain. And that's no joke! The study published was a review of 13 trials published around the world, and reported on the effects of paracetamol based on more than 5,000 patients. 

Like many of our patients, you've probably already come to realise that paracetamol has made little to no difference to your low back pain - and now you've got proof.

 *Cue epiphany music* 

Not only have they deemed paracetamol useless, it is now considered to be potentially harmful; possibly leading to toxicity in the liver when used. Only a few weeks earlier, another study confirmed an association between paracetamol and increased risk of premature death, and cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and kidney disease. 
"Paracetamol has been widely recommended as being a safe medication, but what we are saying now is that paracetamol doesn't bring any benefit for patients with back pain” says Gustavo Machado from the University of Sydney. “In addition to that it might bring harm to those patients."

Paracetamol has been recommended as the ‘first choice’ of treatment for low back pain by most international clinical guidelines for some time now. However, despite a trial in 2014 questioning the effectiveness of the drug for low back pain treatment, there has never been a systematic review of the evidence for this.

Okay, well now that we know (for sure!) that popping the regular panadol is not going to help with your low back pain whatsoever, let us point you in the right direction with 3 helpful suggestions.

1.  Keep moving! We have said it before, and we’ll say it again. Get it tattooed on your forehead if you have to! Keep moving! Bed rest is listed in the WA guidelines as one of the most detrimental activities for low back pain. 

2. Get Adjusted! A common procedure utilised by Chiropractors, spinal manipulation is the only treatment consistently deemed effective for all types of low back pain. This includes acute (sudden), chronic (long-standing) and nerve root pain (nerves).  These guidelines are known as the Western Australian Spinal Pain Model of Care, which we have attached for your reading pleasures.

3. Try a diet low in inflammatory foods! If you are a sufferer of long-standing low back pain, why don’t you try a diet low in inflammatory foods? Luckily for you, we have formulated the 10 easiest ways to kick inflammation naturally.