It may be a first-line treatment, but acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol, and other brands) is just about useless when it comes to relief of low back pain.
That was the conclusion Australian researchers came to in a review of clinical trials published in the British Medical Journal in 2015.
When acetaminophen fails to bring relief, often a patient’s next step is to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Surely these are effective at reducing back pain?
No, they aren’t. A new review by the same research group finds that even anti-inflammatories offer little benefit to back pain sufferers.