Tylenol is a commonly used medication for treating back and arthritis pain. Acetaminophen, the primary ingredient in Tylenol, is the most widely used “pain reliever” medication in the United States. Thanks to misinformation regarding the safety of the drug, it has become responsible for 50 percent of all acute liver failure in the country. Additionally, the drug causes roughly 56,000 liver-related emergency room visits with 26,000 in-patient hospitalizations, and 458 deaths every year.A recently published research paper concludes that acetaminophen is “ineffective in the treatment of low back pain” and only provides “minimal short term benefit with osteoarthritis.” The researchers of the study highly recommend doctors reconsider their recommendations to patients to use acetaminophen for those with low-back pain and osteoarthritis.
There are certain circumstances that create a higher risk of injury or death from acetaminophen. These include fasting, dieting, consuming alcohol, liver disease, anorexia, AIDS and kidney disease. Even routine use of acetaminophen can lead to liver toxicity, however. The signs and symptoms of acetaminophen toxicity include nausea and vomiting.
Not only does acetaminophen not relieve your pain, but it can also damage your live, and it may even kill you. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as Tylenol, Children’s Tylenol, Tylenol PM, Excedrin, Sudafed Cold and Sinus and Alka Seltzer Plus Cold and Flu contain acetaminophen and can lead serious liver toxicity. Prescription drugs such as Percocet, Endocet, Vicodin, Midrin and Ultracet. Unfortunately, the warnings regarding this medication are nearly impossible to read.
Alternatives to acetaminophen include NSAIDs which are also deadly. Roughly 100,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths per year in the United States are attributed to NSAIDs. Fortunately, there are plenty of safer alternatives and natural solutions for both arthritic pain and spinal pain.
The American Chiropractic Association offers many alternatives including chiropractic structural care, adjustments and manipulations, individualized exercise programs, physical therapy modalities and trigger point therapy. By preventing and intervening when pain hits, chiropractic care can prevent the need for OTC medications.
Consult your physician or chiropractic care provider for more information about pain management.