Study shows the power of placebo for back pain

Knowingly taking a placebo to treat chronic lower back pain is better than nothing, a new study shows.

The research by a Harvard team demonstrates the potential clinical benefits of open placebo treatment.

Their study included 97 people with low back pain lasting at least three months. They were randomly assigned to three weeks of treatment on their usual pain medications alone, or on their usual treatment plus placebo.

Unlike the usual placebo-controlled study, these patients knew they were taking a placebo and were made to