Tylenol may not be effective for treating low back pain.

Recent research regarding over the counter pain relievers has changed the way we address low back pain. A 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 significant news for not only healthcare providers but for patients as well. Clinical treatment guidelines have recommended using Tylenol as the first choice of treatment. It takes a long time for research to make it into clinical practice, sometimes up to 12 years. However, as a health care consumer, this study may guide you when making your own decisions regarding treating lower back pain.

There’s no question Tylenol is effective in treating symptoms like acute pain & fever, but it’s not going to address the primary cause of pain. That’s where you have to make a choice. Do you want to fix the cause or continue treating symptoms indefinitely? Tylenol has a role, but it’s essentially a short-term fix for most complaints.

Chiropractic adjustments (chiropractic manipulation) is just one of several therapies that have been shown to provide more long-lasting relief. Manipulation targets the joints, which are often the primary source of pain. By introducing motion into the joints where they may be dysfunctional, it can allow you to move normally again and often times without pain.

Dr. Jason Williams DC is a chiropractic physician practicing at AccessHealth Chiropractic in Cary, NC. He treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries using chiropractic manipulation, dry needling, acupuncture, rehab exercise strategies, and other supportive therapies. Primary areas of focus include back pain, neck pain, muscular pain, extremity pain, and orthopedic injuries. Dr. Williams is experienced in treating athletes, especially those in the CrossFit, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA community.

If you’re interested in whether he or another AccessHealth provider can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.