Research Update: Tylenol Actually Not Effective for Low Back Pain

New research is making a big splash in the treatment of low back pain. A recent study published in The Lancet (2014 Jul 23) found that acetaminophen (Tylenol) was no more effective than a placebo in relieving the symptoms of chronic low back pain.

The study enrolled more than 1,600 patients from 235 primary care clinics in Australia, so it had a fairly large sample size, and it was double-dummy, randomized, and placebo-controlled (in other words the other variables were controlled as best as possible.)

This is big news. Clinical treatment guidelines for medical doctors currently recommend using Tylenol as the first choice of treatment. Even though it’s huge news, it probably wont change the medical treatment guidelines. However, as a healthcare consumer it should guide you when making your own healthcare decisions.

Tylenol is effective in treating symptoms, mostly pain and fever, but it’s not going to address the problem that’s causing the pain. That’s where you have to make a choice. Do you want to fix the cause or continue treating symptoms indefinitely? Tylenol has its place, but it’s not the answer.

Chiropractic is just one of several alternative therapies that have been shown to correct the cause of the pain and allow the body to heal itself and get out of pain. The next time you have low back pain I encourage you to take the right step; address the cause of the discomfort, don’t just mask the pain and kick the can further down the road.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns let your AccessHealth Doctors know!