What do Chocolate Smarties and Paracetamol tablets have in common? I shall enlighten you. I recently spotted a study published in the British Medical Journal in March of this year that told me something I’d known for a while – Paracetamol is completely ineffective in the treatment of low back pain. Painkillers such as Ibuprofen have a part to play in reducing swelling but no painkiller will solve the root cause of a problem, and now we know definitively that Paracetamol is completely useless.
In the study, 13 trials were looked at and included the administering of placebos in the form of sugar pills. The team took into account the levels of pain experienced by the participants afterwards and came to the conclusion that those taking the Paracetamol experienced similar levels of discomfort to those taking the placebo.
The study has led to a recommendation that clinical practice guidelines (as followed by GPs and others) be revised so that Paracetamol is not used in the treatment of low back pain.
The study therefore adds credence to the view that lower back pain can only be treated by firstly finding the cause, then applying appropriate and effective treatment. In an earlier blog I pointed out that Chiropractic has been proven through systematic review to be the most effective treatment for lower back pain as practitioners such as myself are trained in identifying causation and then delivering treatment that actually works.
So next time you reach for the Paracetamol after tweaking your lower back, think again because you may find that a couple of Chocolate Smarties will have the same effect – and taste a lot better too.