Mark Walles, a Woking chiropractor, investigates the safety of taking paracetamol for back pain

When you have a headache or back pain do you take paracetamol?

According to research from Edinburgh University it might be worth thinking twice before reaching for the pills :

In life you rarely get something for nothing. This is why many drugs can act as a double edged sword. It’s also why they often have a list of side effects as long as your arm on the side of the box.

When we take pharmaceutical drugs, they are absorbed through the gut and act on specific sites on our cells. The molecules then initiate a change in the body by triggering a cascade of events. These may target inflammation, hormones or blood clotting etc.

There is however a caveat. When you have a headache, the drugs tend not to only act on your headache. They might also act on receptor sites in your gut cells, your kidney cells or your energy production cells. This is why unwanted side effects are common. These can range from minor symptoms such as a dry mouth or itchy skin or more serious ones such as those found by the Edinburgh researchers.

The above BBC article is particularly interesting, because taking drugs at the first sign of any physical symptom is increasingly common in the western world. Many of us don’t think twice to stop and ask “why?” am I in pain? Or “what?” is happening to my body? There is usually a reason and it is well worth looking into it.

Although they have a time and a place in certain situations, because of their potentially serious side effects, taking common drugs such as paracetamol is not always without risk.

Masking over pain signals produced by your body is not always wise. If left undiagnosed, an underlying condition can become more serious and more difficult to treat later. Instead of taking a paracetamol it could be a good idea to visit a BCA insured chiropractor and have your underlying problem investigated. In the UK, chiropractors are recognised by the Department of Health as primary healthcare professionals, have five years education, and are registered with the General Chiropractic Council.

Dr Mark Walles is a chiropractor in Woking, Surrey, who is passionate about your health. Call 01483 722388 now if you have any questions.

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