Public health

Acupuncture, paracetamol ousted from back pain guidelines

Wednesday, 30 Mar 2016


The use of acupuncture and paracetamol for non-specific low back pain with or without sciatica is no longer recommended in UK guidelines.

The draft guidance from the UK’s National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness instead recommends exercise such as yoga or stretching as a first step towards managing low back pain.

The guidelines also state that short term NSAIDs should be used a first line pain relief, with paracetamol alone not recommended.

Weak opioids (with or without paracetamol) should be considered only when an NSAID is contraindicated, not tolerated or has been ineffective.

Stakeholders have been given until the 5 May to comment on the proposed guidelines.

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