Showing posts with label low back pain. Show all posts

Acetaminophen for Low Back Pain

Acetaminophen, or Tylenol, may be a good alternative treatment for back pain. The main ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen. Classified as an painkiller, Tylenol is an nonprescription drug used to alleviate pain and decrease fever.

acetaminophen

Getting Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is purchased in the form of certain pain medications, like Excedrin, Vanquish and Aspirin-Free Anacin. Tylenol is procurable in generic form, and in combination with other medications.

Acetaminophen is consumed for short-term pain relief for moderate to mild pain, and to temporarily relieve high fever. One may take acetaminophen for neck and back pain if one has muscle pain and/or chronic rheumatoid arthritis.

Acetaminophen impacts the brain. It acts by reducing the level of the central nervous system chemical that activates pain signals. It also wields a cooling effect by suppressing the prostaglandins (lipids derived from fatty acids) that play a role in the brain’s temperature control center.
Acetaminophen and Tylenol are found in tablet, extended release capsule, pill, liquid, or drop form. You may take acetaminophen with or without meals. It also comes in suppository pill form.

Precautions of Acetaminophen

The acetaminophen label discourages consuming alcoholic beverages and acetaminophen at the same time. An overdose of acetaminophen in combination with alcohol could cause liver problems, and possibly death. It's possible that liver problems could occur even after taking the amount recommended on the boxes.

Studies are being conducted to determine the circumstances in which this might happen. Patients with liver illness, and/or alcoholics should visit with their physician prior to taking acetaminophen, and should read the directions on the box. One should never consume more than the recommended quantity.

Allergic reaction to Tylenol or other components of the drug is possible. If you experienced allergic reactions to any of the ingredients listed on the package, don’t use it. Also, refer to your physician if you have an allergy after consuming a dose.

If your son or daughter is under two years old and has a cold, cough, or other respiratory issue, speak with your physician before administering him any drug with acetaminophen in it. Inappropriate use of Tylenol can bring about serious side effects, and can even cause death in younger patients.

References:
Chou R, et al. (2007). "Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: A joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society." Annals of Internal Medicine. 147 (7): 478–491.
Chou R, and Huffman, LH. (2007). "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." Annals of Internal Medicine. 147 (7): 505–514.

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Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms

degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common causes of low back pain, typically affecting active, healthy people in their 30s and 40s. However, since spinal disc degeneration is a natural part of the aging process, this condition also tends to affect the elderly.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is, in fact, not really a disease. It is actually a chronic, gradual deterioration of the soft, spongy discs that separate and cushion spinal vertebrae.

Over time, intervertebral discs break down, naturally losing their flexibility, elasticity and shock absorbing qualities. Ligaments surrounding discs (annulus fibrosis) become brittle and more likely to tear, causing bulges or ruptures. Also, the gel-like center of discs (nucleus pulposus) begins to dry out and shrink, making them thinner and narrowing the distance between vertebrae.

As a result, painful conditions such as spinal stenosis and herniated, bulging and protruding discs may develop by exerting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

These changes may also occur as a result of smoking cigarettes, performing heavy physical work or participating in repetitious activities involving bending, lifting or twisting. Obese people are also more likely to display symptoms of degenerative disc disease.

Lumbar DDD Pain

Many people with degenerative disc disease never experience pain, while others with the same amount of disc damage can feel minor discomfort or even severe pain that limits their activities.

Low back pain may start after a major injury such as from a car accident. Pain may also be triggered by minor injuries, such as falling from a low height or normal, everyday motions including bending and twisting. Sometimes, pain may also begin gradually for unknown reasons and grow worse over time.

Lumbar DDD typically causes long-lasting, dull pain in the lower back combined with occasional severe flare ups lasting for relatively short periods of time. Eventually, pain levels either return to lower levels or may go away entirely.

Common Symptoms of Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Physical symptoms related to lumbar degenerative disc disease typically include some or all of the following:
  • centralized pain in the lower back
  • radiating pain, numbness or tingling sensation in the hips, buttocks and legs
  • worsening pain when sitting or standing in place
  • increased pain from activities involving bending, twisting and lifting
  • walking and running may feel better than sitting and standing
  • resting eases the pain
  • decreased pain when frequently changing positions

Sitting is often problematic for people with DDD because this position forces lumbosacral discs to support heavier loads than when a person is in a standing position.

The following warning signs are indications of a serious problem. People experiencing any of these issues should seek immediate help:
  • pain is disabling or continues getting worse
  • leg weakness, pain, numbness or tingling
  • loss of bowel or bladder control

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