The Chiropractors' Association of Australia supports evidence from the British Medical Journal, which suggests non-pharmacological treatments such as spinal care are safer and more effective than paracetamol for back pain and osteoarthritis.
Spokesperson Dr Billy Chow, Chiropractor, said “It is a positive reflection on Australia’s health care system to take notice of this latest research which convincingly demonstrates the ineffectiveness of one of the nation’s top-selling over the counter and prescribed drugs”.
This systematic review by Machado and Colleagues, found using pharmaceuticals in the management of musculoskeletal pain was not only expensive, but ineffective for reducing pain intensity and disability in patients with back pain and osteoarthritis. The report called for a shift in the behaviour of doctors and their patients from using tablets as the default option for managing chronic musculoskeletal pain, to prescribing non-pharmacological treatments, which were safer and had multiple benefits which extended beyond the musculoskeletal system.
Dr Chow said chiropractors had long recognised the ineffectiveness of paracetamol in managing back pain along with its associated growing costs and negative effects on the liver. The report in the British Medical Journal has reinforced this, placing the likelihood of a damaged liver at nearly four times greater for back pain with patients using common pain-killers.
It is estimated that around 10-15% of all consultations with a general practitioner are in regard to spinal pain and osteoarthritis. Dr Chow said that “the fact that a highly respected peer-reviewed journal of the global medical profession called for physical treatments to be the way forward to manage low back pain and osteoarthritis in a safe, drug free manner, laid a clear foundation for greater cooperation between medical practitioners and chiropractors to cross-refer in order to ensure patients received the best clinical outcomes at the lowest cost”.