DEAR DOCTOR K: I have frequent back pain. I usually take acetaminophen (the Tylenol brand), but I hear it may not be effective for back pain. Is there anything to that?
DEAR READER: If you'd asked me that question even a year ago, I would have said, "Acetaminophen works fine for most people." Lots of people are bothered by back pain. When it strikes, all you want is relief -- and fast. Many folks turn to over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin).