What is the truth behind the story? I had a fascinating chat with our Head of Research Dr Adam Al-Kashi.
Adam said “It’s important to understand that paracetamol is not good for you – it does not improve health or recovery. Physical exercise, proper nutrition, quality sleep and reducing stress are the things that improve health. What paracetamol can do is allow you to resume normal activity sooner by masking your symptoms, but this is a tool for very short term use, not a long term option.”
Adam went on to say “The new study comes from 13 trials involving more than 5,000 patients, and concluded that paracetamol is not effective for lower back pain overall. But many people, and no doubt many amongst that 5,000 patients in the trial, know that paracetamol is useful to them. If it works for you, then use it, but only in the short term to assist you resuming normal activity. It won’t directly help you get better.”
My understanding of all this means, when my back is spasming and it hurts like crazy, then taking a paracetamol will allow me to first move around a bit more, until the pain subsides. I then must make sure I exercise more and do all the other things the improve general health, to make sure I do not get a return of my back pain.