Non-Invasive Drug Therapy
Pharmaceutical pain relievers and related drugs may be used at any stage of the medical treatment of back pain, from your initial onset of acute pain to facilitation of rehabilitation, treatment of chronic back pain and alleviation of post-surgical pain. The most common noninvasive pharmacologic treatments which we may prescribe for chronic back pain are:
- Analgesics—includes acetaminophen. These are most suitable for relatively short-term treatment of back pain. Long-term use involves risk of renal damage.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs)—includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and the new COX-2 inhibitors.
- Muscle relaxants—used to treat muscle spasms due to pain and the body’s own protective mechanisms.
- Narcotic medications—These are most appropriate for acute or post-operative pain. Since use of narcotics entails risk of habituation or addiction if not properly supervised, we do not often use these for chronic conditions.
- Antidepressants and anticonvulsants—used to treat neuropathic (“nerve”) pain