A new study reveals that commonly used painkillers, such as ibuprofen, may provide little benefits against a backache.
Patients taking anti-inflammatory drugs are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ulcers and bleeding.
According to Researchers at The George Institute for Global Health in Australia found only one in six patients treated with the pills, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), achieve any significant reduction in pain.
Earlier research has already demonstrated paracetamol is ineffective and opioids provide minimal benefit over placebo.
"Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is commonly managed by prescribing medicines such as anti-inflammatories," said Ferreira.
"However our results show anti-inflammatory drugs actually only provide very limited short-term pain relief. They do reduce the level of pain, but only very slightly, and arguably not of any clinical significance," said Ferreira.
"When you factor in the side effects which are very common, it becomes clear that these drugs are not the answer to providing pain relief to the many millions of Australians who suffer from this debilitating condition every year," Ferreira added.
Most clinical guidelines recommend NSAIDs as the second line analgesics after paracetamol, with opioids coming at third choice.The study was published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
(With PTI Inputs)