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Joint pain: Paracetamol does not help against osteoarthritis
Around five million Germans have osteoarthritis. The painful joint disease usually affects the hands, knees and hips. Many patients use acetaminophen to make the symptoms more bearable. A new study has now found that arthritis pain cannot be relieved with this remedy.
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease
According to the German Arthrosis Aid in Frankfurt, arthrosis is the most common joint disease. Around five million people in Germany are affected. The pain that arises from the wear and tear of the joints is often difficult to bear. Although movement in osteoarthritis would be the better choice in many cases, patients are usually gentle in the acute case and take painkillers. The use of paracetamol is common here. The inexpensive and over-the-counter medication is considered to be well tolerated and is used for numerous complaints such as headaches or fever. However, it has no effect on the pain of osteoarthritis patients, as researchers in Switzerland have now found.
Paracetamol does not relieve the symptoms in osteoarthritis patients
According to a study by scientists from the University of Bern, the suffering of osteoarthritis patients cannot be alleviated with the pain reliever paracetamol. As can be seen from the meta-study published in the specialist magazine "The Lancet", the often prescribed medication does not help to combat pain or improve the physical abilities of patients in the case of joint disease. For the study, 22 treatment options for osteoarthritis were compared: different doses of acetaminophen and seven anti-inflammatory drugs. Data from almost 60,000 patients from studies published between 1980 and 2015 were evaluated.
Stop taking most effective remedies due to side effects
According to the researchers, so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are the most effective. However, due to their side effects, these could not be prescribed for a long time. "This is why paracetamol is often preferred to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to deal with long-term pain," said study author Sven Trelle from the University of Bern in a message from the AFP news agency. "Our results show that paracetamol, regardless of the dosage, is not effective in relieving pain caused by osteoarthritis."
Treatment options for osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis causes inflammation of the joints, which can swell, hurt and lose mobility. Almost ten percent of men and 18 percent of women over the age of 60 are affected by the disease. In the acute case, it is about knowing what really helps those affected. Health experts often advise pain medication or heat or cold applications. Naturopathy also relieves osteoarthritis pain and stiffness. These include devil's claw and nettle extract. In addition, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment options and procedures such as acupuncture, cupping or Qi Gong are suitable for osteoarthritis. Nutrition also plays an important role. With osteoarthritis you shouldn't eat meat and little cheese. Last but not least, people are usually advised to lose weight, especially if they are overweight or obese. (ad)