Paracetamol is very often the easiest and first medication we reach for when suffering from lower back pain.
This might seem like a quick fix…but is it a fix at all?
A large randomized trial published in The Lancet finds performs no better than a placebo. SHOCKING RIGHT?
1,652 randomly selected participants were included for the research. The average age of the participants were 45 years, and all of them suffered from lower back pain. They either received regular doses of paracetamol for up to 4 weeks, as needed (up to a maximum of 4,000 mg per day) or a placebo.
Results showed that between the treatment groups, there were no differences in the number of days to recovery; the median time to recovery was 17 days for the regular paracetamol group, 17 days for the as-needed paracetamol group and 16 days for the placebo group.
Paracetamol should definitely be reconsidered as a first line of treatment for lower back pain.
Alternative, non-invasive, and hands-on approaches would be
- Massage Therapy
- Exercises and stretching
Efficacy of paracetamol for acute low-back pain: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial, Dr Christopher M Williams, et al., The Lancet, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60805-9, published 24 July 2014, Abstract.