There are multiple over-the-counter (non-prescription) and prescription medications that can be helpful in relieving pain and addressing related symptoms while an episode of low back pain is getting better. Careful attention to pain management is a critical component of a patient’s recovery, as acute or chronic low back pain can lead to depression, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty exercising and stretching, all of which in turn can exacerbate and prolong a painful back condition.
Types of Medications for Low Back Pain
Two types of over-the-counter medications, acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), are commonly recommended to alleviate low back pain. Acetaminophen and NSAID’s work differently and therefore may be taken at the same time. For short periods of time, prescription medications (such as narcotic pain medications and muscle relaxants) may be helpful to alleviate pain or related complications. Other classes of drugs (such as antidepressants or anti-seizure medications) can also help modulate the sensation of pain and can be taken on a prolonged basis.
There are risks, side effects and drug interactions with any medication, so a medical professional should always be consulted prior to taking medications. Patients should be especially cautious with medications if they are on other medications or have any significant medical conditions (e.g. diabetes). While a few major risks and side effects are outlined for some medications on this site, patients should always read the label and package inserts and consult with a physician for a complete understanding of risks, side effects, and drug interactions.
13710 Olive Boulevard (Primary Office)
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Telephone: 314-469-PAIN (7246)
Exchange: 314-441-6965 (for after-hour Emergencies Only)
Monday thru Friday
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM