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Painkillers no good for backache.

There have been several articles recently regarding research Into painkillers;


Sydney University carried out a large review of 35 different studies into the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat neck and lower back pain.

In brief they found that evidence suggested only one in six patients gained any significant pain relief. In Addition they found these drugs commonly caused gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ulcers.

Their opinion, as stated by lead author Manuela Ferreira in the Journal Annals of the rheumatic diseases, was that the benefits of the drugs are far outweighed by the risks.

Furthermore, previous large studies have found paracetamol and opioids (such as codeine) are similarly largely ineffective for spinal pain.

There has also been further negative press regarding the prescription nerve painkillers pregabalin and gabapentin, which in recent years have increasingly been used for the treatment of spinal pain with little beneficial effect and moreover have been shown to have unpleasant side-effects and addictive tendencies in certain individuals.

More and more researchers are suggesting that until more effective analgesics become available the key may be to focus on exercises that seem to ease and help prevent backpain.


Needless to say any osteopath worth his salt already knows this & the phrase “I told you so” Is hard to resist.

Nevertheless, I would like to point out that occasionally a short course of a suitable medication may have some benefit. But I would recommend discussing this with your osteopath after a detailed assessment of your pain/problem.