Simple therapy 'best for backs'

Paracetamol and keeping active are the best cures for back pain, according to Australian researchers who warn that other treatments do not work.

A Lancet study of 240 back pain sufferers found anti-inflammatory drugs and spinal manipulation did not make any difference to recovery time. Yet currently, both treatments are recommended in several guidelines.

Experts said patients needed to be reassured that avoiding bed rest and taking paracetamol would work.

Researchers at the University of Sydney assigned patients to receive either an anti-inflammatory drug called diclofenac, a dummy drug, spinal manipulation or fake manipulation therapy. They had already received simple treatment advice from their GP to keep active, avoid bed rest and take paracetamol for the pain.

The study found no difference in recovery times after 12 weeks in patients who also received diclofenac or spinal manipulation.

Almost all the patients had recovered by the end of the study no matter what treatment they had received.

Source - BBC

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