Saturday, 18 October 2014

Acetaminophen for Back Pain - May Have No Effect

According to a new study published online in the medical journal The Lancet, Australian researchers found that acetaminophen (sold mainly as Tylenol) isn't better at relieving acute back pain as a fake pill.  Many medical guidelines recommend acetaminophen for back pain as it has few side effects.  Studies show it works for other types of pain but not low back pain in particular.

In the study, 1600 people with acute low back pain were tested and were either given 4000 mg daily of acetaminophen or a placebo.  There was no major difference in recovery time.  In fact the placebo group recovered after an average of 16 days and the acetaminophen group recovered in an average of 17 days.  Most of the back pain was as a result of lack of exercise, bad posture or strain.

"This was a surprise" said Bart Koes of Erasmus MC University Center in the Netherlands, who co-authored an accompanying commentary.  Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and there is a myriad of recommended treatments.  The study's lead author Chris Williams of the University of Sydney states "the mechanisms of back pain are likely to be different from other pain conditions and this is an area that we need to study more."

If you are experiencing back pain, especially if it lasts more than a usual strain, then call for a consultation at Welcome Back Spinal Care Centre at (416) 512-2225. Spinal Decompression Toronto