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Does acetaminophen help with back pain?

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It stops the pain process, but it doesn't reduce inflammation in the body. Acetaminophen tends to be gentler on the stomach than other meds. But while it can be helpful in relieving toothaches, headaches, and pain after surgery, there’s not a lot of evidence that it works as well for back pain. Still, each case is unique. So just because it hasn’t been found to be the most effective remedy in clinical trials doesn’t mean it won’t help you.

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications: “Best Bets for Back Pain.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Medications to Treat Back Pain.”

Cochrane Library: “Muscle Relaxants for Non-Specific Low-Back Pain.”

Annals of Internal Medicine: “Medications for Acute and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Review of the Evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline

Mayo Clinic: “Antidepressants: Another Weapon Against Chronic Pain.”

JAMA : “Efficacy, Tolerability, and Dose-Dependent Effects of Opioid Analgesics for Low Back Pain.”

BMJ : “Opioids for Low Back Pain.”

Chou, R.: “Approach to Use of Opioids in Patients With Low Back Pain.”

Medscape: “Opioid Analgesics Subpar for Chronic Back Pain.”

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 14, 2016

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publications: “Best Bets for Back Pain.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Medications to Treat Back Pain.”

Cochrane Library: “Muscle Relaxants for Non-Specific Low-Back Pain.”

Annals of Internal Medicine: “Medications for Acute and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Review of the Evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline

Mayo Clinic: “Antidepressants: Another Weapon Against Chronic Pain.”

JAMA : “Efficacy, Tolerability, and Dose-Dependent Effects of Opioid Analgesics for Low Back Pain.”

BMJ : “Opioids for Low Back Pain.”

Chou, R.: “Approach to Use of Opioids in Patients With Low Back Pain.”

Medscape: “Opioid Analgesics Subpar for Chronic Back Pain.”

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 14, 2016

NEXT QUESTION:

What are the risks of taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) for low back pain?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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