Acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) has long been recommended as a first-line treatment for low back pain. When patients present to the office with lumbar pain, traditional treatment has included patient education, activity modification, heat and/or ice, and acetaminophen. Recently a study published in The Lancet (2014 November 2014) demonstrated that acetaminophen was no more effective than placebo in treating the symptoms of low back pain. Dosing regularly or as-needed made no difference in the results. The study was well designed and included over 1600 patients in Australia. Median recovery time with acetaminophen was 17 days, compared to 16 days in the placebo group. This study will certainly lead to further evaluation of the current practice guidelines.
To see the complete abstract from this study, go to: LINK
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