Feeds

Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol

Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery

Security for virtualized datacentres

The human spine is poorly-designed for the rigours of modern life, but so are the drugs most commonly prescribed to help you endure a bad back.

That's the conclusion of a new study looking into whether paracetamol, the drug most often suggested to treat bad backs, actually helps.

Reported in The Lancet, the study funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline Australia ran for over three years and involved “a multicentre, double-dummy, randomised, placebo controlled trial across 235 primary care centres in Sydney.”

The study saw some patients given regular doses paracetamol, others told to take the drug when in pain and a third group handed placebos.

Those given paracetamol, in either mode, reported no less pain than those taking placebos. Nor did sugar-pill-poppers recover from their ailments more slowly.

The authors therefore “question the universal endorsement of paracetamol in this patient group.”

In this interview the study's leader Professor Chris Maher even questions whether Paracetamol can be considered a pain-killer.

“The jury is out” on whether the drug lessens pain, Professor Maher says about two minutes into the interview.

Whether or not the drug works may be moot, Professor Maher adds, because paracetamol is usually prescribed along with instructions not to lie around in bed waiting for a bad back to stop hurting. He therefore hypothesises that merely being told to stay up and about, made possible by the fact one is taking pain-killers, could be the best therapy of all. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.