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Acetaminophen Ineffective in Reducing Back Pain, Commonly Overdosed, Study Shows

Mounting evidence against acetaminophen, sold under common brand names like Tylenol: a recently released report in the prestigious British Medical Journal shows it’s ineffective for reducing pain intensity, disability or improving short-term quality of life for those with low back pain. Nonetheless, the drug is widely used in an attempt to relieve symptoms—and it’s one of the most commonly overdosed substances in the world. Sixty-thousand Americans end up in the hospital every year due to overdose, and several hundred die. Overdose can cause liver failure.tylenol

In discussing the report, Dr. Gerald Clum, spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, states: “While many people with back pain traditionally turned to acetaminophen as the first option for pain relief, this new report . . . is changing public perception and use of this drug.” The study’s conclusion came following the review of 13 studies that looked at which treatments alleviated lower back pain and arthritis. In addition to finding acetaminophen ineffective, the researchers recommended managing pain through exercise and stretching. “Mounting evidence confirms that early use of Chiropractic care for pain management generates optimal patient outcomes,” Dr. Clum adds, citing a statement from the American College of Physicians that spinal manipulation is the most effective treatment for acute and chronic low back pain. You can read the full report here or

Source: Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, April 21, 2015; “What’s Tylenol Doing to Our Minds,” by James Gamblin, April 8, 2013, The Atlantic.