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Paracetamol 'no better than placebo' for back pain

Over the counter paracetamol is no more effective at relieving back pain than a placebo, a study has found. Scientists in Australia found patients' back pain did not cease any faster if they took either paracetamol or a useless substitute.

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Doctors 'need to reconsider' paracetamol for back pain

Doctors "need to reconsider" the "universal recommendation" of paracetamol when treating patients with lower back pain, a science chief has said.

Dr Christopher Williams, of the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney, who led research into the effectiveness of paracetamol in the treatment of back pain said:

Simple analgesics such as paracetamol might not be of primary importance in the management of acute lower back pain.

The results suggest we need to reconsider the universal recommendation to provide paracetamol as a first-line treatment for low-back pain, although understanding why paracetamol works for other pain states but not low-back pain would help direct future treatments.

– Dr Christopher Williams

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