Over-The-Counter Drugs and Back Pain

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 9, 2020

Medication for Spine Pain

Back pain is one of if not the most common health condition that plaques the average American, and when mild to moderate back pain sets in, many people turn to over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to help with their discomfort. Over-the-counter medications can play a significant role in helping you get back to full health, but they also shouldn’t be viewed as a magical cure. Below, we take a closer look at the appropriate way to manage back pain with the help of over-the-counter meds.

NSAIDs And Back Pain

Estimates suggest that roughly 30 billion over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are sold in the United States each year, but that doesn’t mean they are a perfect solution for daily aches and pains. These over-the-counter NSAIDs can help to reduce swelling and inflammation and in turn control pain caused by damaged spinal discs or arthritic spinal joints, but they can’t be the only treatment method you pursue.

NSAIDs are considered a passive treatment option, and for maximum effectiveness, passive treatment options need to be paired with active treatment modalities. Some common active options to consider alongside your OTC pain reliever regimen include:

  • Exercise – Controlled exercise can help to strengthen key spinal structures and help speed up the recovery process.
  • Physical Therapy – Physical therapy can help your spine by targeting specific muscle groups or areas of weakness.
  • Stretching – Stretching helps to loosen up tense muscle groups that could be contributing to injury. Muscle tension is a common cause of spine pain, and stretching helps alleviate this tension.
  • Yoga – Yoga is a mix of exercise and stretching, so it’s oftentimes a preferred option for patients who want to do right by their spine without feeling like they are going through a traditional workout.

Over-the-counter pain medications pair well with the above activities because they can help make these active treatments more bearable. Pain and discomfort is often the most common reason why people opt for passive treatments like rest, ice or heat therapy in lieu of active treatments that can lead to faster recovery. Thes pain medications can help reduce painful inflammation and make these active options easier to perform, helping to fuel your recovery.

So if you are considering taking pain medications for a back problem, please consider pairing it with some active treatments to really help kick start your recovery. For more tips, or for help with your back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.

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