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Dr Esther Williamson has commented on a recent study on low back pain presented in The Lancet.

Dr Esther Williamson, Research Fellow at NDORMS, spoke to Inside Health this week commenting on a low back pain study published in The Lancet.

The study - which is the largest trial to date - suggests paracetamol used to treat acute low back pain does not improve recovery time or provide greater pain relief than a placebo.

Speaking to Inside Health as the UK spokesperson, Dr Esther Williamson, who was not involved in the study, highlighted the strength and quality of this trial, and how that can affect future international guidelines for the management of acute or a recent onset of low back pain. Esther also pointed out a big question in terms of back pain: why does paracetamol work for other painful conditions but not acute back pain? Another important point raised in the discussion was that the majority of the participants in the study recovered well. This may have been due to the fact they were all given advice about avoiding rest, staying active and reassurance that back pain is not serious.

You can listen to Esther on Inside Health (and also read a programme transcript). The Lancet paper, Efficacy of paracetamol for acute low-back pain: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial, is also available online.