What really helps with back pain

Backache knows everyone. What remedies do pharmacists recommend – and do they really help? In the case of test purchases, none of the preparations is convincing. Important notes on application are missing.

Almost everyone knows this unpleasant stabbing in the back, which is already noticeable in the smallest movements: in over 95 per cent of cases this acute pain is annoying, but harmless.

Causes can be too little or too much exercise, a wrong move or just too much stress. The pain usually disappears after a few weeks. Whoever wants to make this time more tolerable, usually goes not directly to the doctor, but to the pharmacy. But what do pharmacists recommend to a customer who asks for pain relief – beyond common painkillers? We have once again sent volunteers in Germany’s pharmacies. Ten volunteers described their pain in the back pain for a few days – they were advised and bought Traumeel Erfahrung as the pharmacist recommended. This usually took only a few minutes.

Because our testers did not want to take any painkillers or demand additional remedies, the pharmacists advise to heat pills or ointments. Cost average 15 euros. In one case, the sufferer was still advised to take a small amount of magnesium. When buying a heat balsam, there were three pairs of disposable gloves for free – “the ointment burns, do not come into the eyes with your finger”.

We asked the physician Peter Sawicki to evaluate the funds sold for SPIEGEL ONLINE on the basis of approved survey studies. In conclusion, we asked Bernhard Arnold, head physician for pain therapy at the Klinikum Dachau, as a second expert.

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