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Simple cures for back pain

12th November 2007

If you have acute back pain, there is no need to visit a physiotherapist or take anti-inflammatory drugs, according to a new study carried out in Australia.


The study, led by Mark Hancock at the University of Sydney, looked at 240 people suffering from back pain, assigning some of them to recive the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac and a course of spinal manipulation (physiotherapy massage).

They had already been told to take paracetamol (acetominophen), and advised to avoid bed rest and to stay physically active. The control group was offered nothing but paracetamol and the advice.

After 12 weeks, researchers could find no difference in recovery time between the two groups. Almost all the patients had recovered by the end of the study no matter what treatment they had received.

Currently, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and spinal manipulation are recommended in health services in many places in the world.

But paracetamol and keeping active are the best cures for back pain, the Australian researchers said, adding that patients needed to be reassured that avoiding bed rest and taking paracetamol would work.

Study leader Mark Hancock said there was no clinical benefit from the additional treatments, and that both anti-inflammatory drugs and spinal manipulation techniques carried additional risks and costs.

Bart Koes from the Department of General Practice at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, who wrote an accompanying article in The Lancet, said the results were probably applicable to other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.

He said it was very likely that for many patients with acute low back pain, adequate first-line treatment with paracetamol and advice and reassurance might have prevented the need for further treatments if it was given confidently at the right time.

Pain experts said simple care and advice should guide the patient through their acute phase of pain and allow them to return to normal life when it was over.

Back pain is a major cause of sickness absence from work.

But chiropractors said the findings had little to do with their treatment methods, which were unrelated to the spinal manipulation offered in the study.


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Wafia Hussain

Tuesday 20th November 2007 @ 11:02

Previously and few years back I had very acute back pain. I didn't use any anti-inflammatory drugs. I have used only Paracetamol, Aromatherapy & Osteopathy treatment. I have recovered very well.

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Article Information

Title: Simple cures for back pain
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 4729
Date Added: 12th Nov 2007


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