Aspirin and Ibuprofen are regularly prescribed for the treatment of back pain. A recent Australian study has cast doubt on the real effectiveness of these substances.

Anti-inflammatory drugs are not effective in relieving back pain.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs dangerous for health?

Back pain is one of those pains that many French people face on a daily basis. Low back pain is also the leading cause of work disability among people under 45 years of age. Most of these people regularly use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve their pain.

New scientific research, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases by Australian researchers at the George Institute for Global Health, may well encourage these people to change their reflexes. Indeed, their studies have just proven that these analgesics would have more harmful effects on the body than they would provide relief from back pain.

Is paracetamol as effective as a placebo?

By taking NSAIDs too frequently, patients run the risk of suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding. These substances also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular problems.

What about other substances such as paracetamol? Science is also not optimistic about the real benefits of this molecule. A study conducted in 2015 and covering three clinical trials, showed that patients treated with paracetamol observed an effect only slightly higher than those who took only a placebo. A conclusion that is not very pleasing for patients: "it is now clear that the most widely used and recommended substances for back pain do not provide significantly better clinical effects than placebos", the authors state in their publication.

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