“Nurofen Back Pain” or us?

With the admission that “Nurofen Back Pain” is no more beneficial for back pain than “Nurofen Migraine”, the manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser must have lost a degree of credibility.  The four Nurofen products (Back Pain, Migraine, Tension Headache and Period Pain) are essentially the same product in different packaging.  A quick glance at the product sheet on all the “Specific Pain Range” would tell the casual reader that the active ingredient in all of them is ibuprofen lysine.  How disappointing.

But perhaps they aren’t equally effective.  Perhaps the packaging makes a difference?  Research has certainly indicated that the colour of a pill affects the swallower’s likelihood of feeling better, and the likelihood that he or she will take it in the first place.   What might have happened if Reckitt Benckiser had conducted a clinical trial to demonstrate that their Back Pain pill was more effective for back pain than their Period Pain pill was for back pain?  I can’t help but think that they would have achieved a positive result.  But of course, that wouldn’t have been a “blinded” trial – the swallowers would have known which pill was meant to fix their back pain and which was meant to solve period pains.  All it would have proven was the power of the placebo effect.  Do you think that’s what Reckitt Benckiser were hoping to add to their formulations?  A more powerful placebo effect?  Or, do you think they were just trying to make more money…?

By marketing 4 different medications for pain their produts would take up 4 times as much space on the shelves.  Makes you think, doesn’t it?

On a completely unrelated note, we’ll soon be launching (drum roll for effect, and increasing excitement in the reader’s voice)

active X backs for Golfers

active X backs for Gardeners

active X backs for Office Workers

active X backs for Parents

That should cover a lot of the market.   Or maybe the fact that we specialise in relieving and preventing back pain is enough?

As ever, comments welcome below!


By | 2016-11-17T11:41:26+00:00 January 25th, 2016|Myth-busting Low Back Pain, Treatments that Work|0 Comments

About the Author:

Clinic Director and Osteopath. Gavin graduated as a Gold Medallist in 1991 and is now a Vice Patron of the British School of Osteopathy. Co-author of “The Back Book” with Gavin Hastings OBE in 1996, and author of "active X backs - and effective solution for lower back pain"; he has an MSc in The Clinical Management of Pain from the University of Edinburgh. He's passionate about helping to move people as far from illness and pain as possible, and in January 2015 set himself the target of helping a million people get a better back.

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