| pain management

Do Placebos Provide Therapeutic Value?

Reduction in Pain Intensity and More = Well Tolerated Treatment

Placebos are designed to have no therapeutic value. They are used as a control in testing other drugs. However, a new study from the Back Pain Center at the University Hospital in Essen, Germany, uncovered some interesting information: the open-label group—who knew they were taking placebos—reported a greater pain intensity reduction, less functional disability, and less depression. Seemingly unaffected were levels of stress/anxiety and objective mobility parameters.

Why did the placebo work? One possibility is the practitioner/patient interaction. Another is the simple act of taking a pill may make some people feel relief is on the way. Genetics may be another. In the future, genetic testing may show which patients would get relief from treatment with placebo.


Read the journal abstract here

Read the article at the Wall Street Journal.