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Study: How do placebos help against chronic back pain?


Treatment of folk suffering: effects of placebos against back pain
Back pain has become a real common ailment. The complaints are often caused by poor posture and insufficient exercise. More and more people need to be treated for such pain. At the University Hospital Essen, it is now to be examined whether and how placebos can help.

Sometimes simple home remedies are not enough
In recent years, more and more patients in Germany have sought medical treatment for back pain. Those affected are usually advised not to take excessive care of their symptoms, but rather to strengthen their backs with exercise. Warmth in the form of a hot water bottle or a hot bath is usually recommended. However, when the symptoms become more severe and / or chronic, simple home remedies for back pain are often no longer sufficient. Now it should be examined whether and how placebos can help here.

Every seventh adult suffers from chronic back pain
Over 15 percent of the adult population suffer from chronic back pain that lasts longer than three months. The causes for this are manifold.

In many patients, despite various treatments, there was no pain relief. However, sometimes drugs without active ingredients can lead to success.

Scientists at the ISPA Instituto Universitário in Lisbon reported last year in the journal Pain that chronic back pain can be reduced with placebos.

Now researchers at the Back Pain Center at the University Hospital Essen also want to investigate whether and how placebos help against the symptoms.

Why placebos?
It has long been known that taking placebos can relieve chronic pain.

"This is associated, among other things, with the activation of the body's pain-relieving mechanisms - such as the release of opioids (" self-healing powers ")," says a flyer from the clinic.

According to the experts, current findings indicate that placebos work even when they are administered “openly” (so-called “open-label placebo treatment”).

Study participants wanted
The aim of the study was "to investigate the influence of placebos that are taken in addition to normal medication on your back pain and mobility."

Test subjects are still being sought. The examination includes - depending on which group the participants are in - a three-week placebo therapy or observation phase.

The taking of the prescribed medication is not affected; however, medication should remain unchanged and noted.

Interested back pain patients can find out more by calling 0201 / 723-2439. (ad)

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