Put Down the Pills – Start Physical Therapy

pill-30353_1280NOTE: The following is a summarized version of an article on PTinMotion. To read the full article, click here.

A new study that questions the effectiveness of acetaminophen for low back pain (LBP) and hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) has also sparked a discussion about what does work: namely, movement and exercise.

The study analyzed results from clinical trials that evaluated short-term pain and disability outcomes for patients who received either acetaminophen or a placebo for LBP or OA.

Researchers concluded there was strong evidence that acetaminophen is “ineffective” for reducing pain intensity or improving quality of life in the short term for people with LBP, and provides “minimal short-term benefit” for individuals with hip or knee OA.

The study was accompanied by an editorial recommending that all patients with OA receive information on exercise and weight management (if appropriate) and write that “the effectiveness of exercise for both osteoarthritis and spinal pain is established.” Physical therapists are named as “key professionals to offer expert advice and support in this regard,” and calls for a shift in treatment away from drugs.