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Is Acetaminophen Ineffective for Back Pain?

Whenever we feel unwell or experience discomfort, we go through our medicine cabinet and find the most straightforward solution; over-the-counter pills. While acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol, may help, its pain-relieving abilities do not cover everything. 

Dr. Christopher Williams conducted a study with over 1,600 individuals and concluded that acetaminophen is ineffective for treating lower back pain. It did not work any better than a placebo in terms of speeding up the recovery process.

Acetaminophen is Ineffective for Back Pain

Acetaminophen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID used to treat minor aches and pains caused by headaches, muscular aches, backache, little arthritis pain, the common cold, toothache, and premenstrual and menstrual cramps. Acetaminophen is also used to lower your fever. Acetaminophen is commonly known as Tylenol. (Source: RX List)

Tylenol is used to relieve pain and reduce fevers. This class of medications relieves pain by interfering with the nerve signals that cause it; nevertheless, it is not an NSAID. NSAIDs, on the other hand, are anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs. They work by interfering with the production of prostaglandins, which are hormones that regulate inflammation, blood flow, and blood coagulation. (Source: Medical News Today)

Lower back pain is widespread, and many people rely on over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol. A large-scale study examined whether acetaminophen is more effective than a placebo in relieving low back pain in patients. The findings were not encouraging. It turns out that this medication is often ineffective. (Source: VOX)

As the study’s principal author, Dr. Christopher Williams, summarized, the findings from over 1,600 patients demonstrate that acetaminophen is unhelpful for low back pain. During the three-month research, Acetaminophen did not affect episodes of low back pain, and it was no more effective than placebo at speeding recovery.

Dr. Williams suggested that if persons with low back pain have not yet begun treatment and are unsure what to do next, the study demonstrates that acetaminophen will not speed their recovery or alleviate their pain. As a result, there is no reason to promote it to them.

Dr. Williams advised those who are already taking acetaminophen to continue if they believe it is beneficial. However, if they do not improve after one or two weeks despite their best efforts to maintain regular activity and avoid bed rest, they should consult their doctor. (Source: VOX)

What Drug Can Be Used Instead?

While acetaminophen is ineffective, other over-the-counter medications are more effective in targeting muscle pain. If you are experiencing lower back pain, it would be better to purchase ibuprofen. Brand names like Advil and Motrin are excellent for short-term treatment of lower back pain. Just be sure to consume these medications after eating to prevent gastrointestinal issues like ulcers and bleeds. 

If symptoms persist, it is best to consult a doctor. Prolonged use of ibuprofen may cause problems. (Source: Web MD)

Alternate Remedies for Back Pain

Numerous alternative treatments for back pain can help you minimize your medication or supplement your current medical treatment. Below are natural pain-relieving strategies, and find out what works best for you. (Source: Spine Health)

Add Anti-inflammatory Food to Your Diet.

When anti-inflammatory foods are ingested consistently, various antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-cancer chemicals can accumulate in the blood. Over time, these potent chemicals can significantly reduce and eliminate inflammatory reactions in the body—foods like turmeric milk, tart cherry juice, and ginger-green tea help relieve back pain.

Avoid Prolonged Static Posture.

Paying attention to your daily activities helps in fighting against low back pain. Make sure to get up and stretch every hour. Taking walks during these breaks also helps alleviate pressure building up in your lower back. Be also mindful of your posture. Poor, unsupported posture can lead to long-term back pains.

Gently Stretch Your Joints and Soft Tissues Through Yoga.

Yoga is an excellent technique to stretch your back, improve the health of your muscles and joints, promote the distribution of healing nutrients through blood circulation, and increase spinal flexibility. (Source: Spine Health)

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