Study: This Pain Reliever Doesn’t Work for Lower Back Pain, Osteoarthritis

Study: This Pain Reliever Doesn’t Work for Lower Back Pain, Osteoarthritis
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The pain-relieving ingredient Acetaminophen, also known a Tylenol and Paracetamol, is one of the most popular pain relievers used today. In present day, it and other drugs like it have become relied on for numerous types of mundane pain or chronic pain relief from degenerative diseases.

However, research suggests that this pain-reliever doesn’t always work – with a recent study showcasing its inability to treat lower back pain as well as osteoarthritis in the knee and hip.

As reported by Medical News Today:

“The systematic review and meta-analysis is a synthesis of the research evidence from 13 randomized controlled trials designed to investigate the safety and efficacy of acetaminophen in the management of spinal pain – lower back or neck – and osteoarthritis.”

What they found is that these pain medicines are no more effective than a placebo for dealing with lower back pain and osteoarthritis. They provide no significant short or long term benefit and overall do little to improve the condition.

Previous studies asserted that paracetamol was a safe and effective method to deal with various types of pains, but this new study shows that Paracetemol might be over-prescribed to patients who gain little benefit from its use.

Read: Tylenol Ingredient Suppresses Emotions, Dulls Pain

“Worldwide, paracetamol is the most widely used over-the-counter medicine for musculoskeletal conditions, so it is important to reconsider treatment recommendations given this new evidence.”

Additionally, the study shows, as many studies have, that taking acetaminophen may compromise the liver, especially if taken over long periods of time. Many pharmaceuticals have dangerous side effects especially over long periods of use or if overdosed.

Its important to note that these medicines are band-aid fixes for pain and do little to actually improve quality of life for those suffering from some disabling form of chronic pain. The researchers point out that some patients were able to overcome their disability with physical therapy, and suggest that the guidelines surrounding paracetamol as a standard form of treatment should be changed to reflect their findings that it is useless in relieving the pain of certain conditions.

The editorial concludes:

“Ongoing and ever-increasing concerns about pharmacological management of musculoskeletal pain highlights the importance of nonpharmacological options, which form the cornerstone of self-management of spinal pain and osteoarthritis.”

Additional Sources:

LA Times

Photo Credit: (Joe Raedle / Getty Images )