Low back pain can greatly inhibit your quality of life. There are many non surgical lower back pain treatment options available, such as medication. As patients often ask us: What are the best medications for dealing with lower back pain? We have prepared a list of the top 6 medications to deal with the discomfort associated with low back pain. But, as always, make sure to consult your physician directly to make sure you are not dealing with a more serious or complicated problem.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs as they’re more commonly called, provide analgesic and antipyretic effects, and, in higher doses, anti-inflammatory effects. The most common forms of NSAIDs are Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, and Naproxen. As Dr. David Graybill of Arlington Orthopedic Associates puts it, “90% of low back pain is due to overuse activity and will respond to rest, ice, and NSAIDS.”
If you are part of the 10% of people where NSAIDs do not respond, you may want to consider one of the following options, and please remember all drugs need to be taken in moderation.
2.) Tylenol (Acetaminophen)
Tylenol is a good choice for those with kidney disease and pre-existing stomach conditions like Ulcers. Tylenol can provide quick pain relief, but does not fight inflammation like the NSAIDs. But again, remember moderation is key. Taken in higher doses, even Tylenol can cause severe liver complications.
3.) Prescription Muscle Relaxants
Skeletal muscle relaxants are a diverse set of drugs that are predominantly used for treating muscle spasms, which can cause pain and interfere with your functional ability. Having stiff, rigid muscles with exaggerated reflexes, generally lasts a long time. Examples of these drugs include Baclofen, Chlorzoxazone, and Dantrolene. These can be extremely helpful at alleviating the immediate discomfort of more severe, intractable instances of lower back pain. However, these should be taken only short term.
4.) Opiate Medicate
Opiate medication is beneficial for those with incomplete relief from the above medication treatments. However, with Opiate prescriptions it is very important to keep the dosages small and for the short term. As Dr. Graybill notes, “17% of society has the potential for addiction, so this can become a problem drug instead of a benefit.”
5.) Neuropathic Medications
If your lower back pain is linked to nerve damage pain, neuropathic medications such as Lyrica, Gabapentin, Elavil, Cymbalta are used in certain situations and can be a lifesaver for pain control when nothing else is working.
6.) Anesthetic Patches and Creams
Topical pain relieving drugs include preparations applied to the skin as a cream, ointment, gel, spray, or patch. Examples include Lidocaine ointment, aspercreme, and icy hot. On occasional, these remedies they will work; but frequently are expensive and not adequate for dealing with more intense versions of lower back pain.
As Dr. Graybill stresses, most lower back pain can be linked to overuse and require rest and ice. For more serious instances, please consult your physician or contact us directly to find out the best strategy for dealing with your orthopedic and back pain needs.