Using pain medication for pinched nerve relief
A pinched nerve, regardless of where it is located along the spine, can result in chronic pain and can even prevent you from doing the activities you enjoy. Because the pain of a pinched nerve often travels through the entire nerve pathway, you may be experiencing a chronic pain that extends from your spine into an extremity, making daily tasks difficult to complete. The use of over-the-counter or prescription medication is one way a person can attempt to find pinched nerve relief before surgery is considered.
For many patients, a physician may prescribe or recommend a variety of medications, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the origin of their discomfort. However, it is important to remember that medication is usually recommended to be used in conjunction with other treatments and is not often expected to decompress the pinched nerve and provide long-term relief on its own. To learn about other treatment options available for relief, read the following article.
Your pinched nerve treatment options
There is no shortage of medications for neck or back pain that are available either over-the-counter or with a prescription. These pills, tablets, capsules and powders may be recommended to relieve a wide variety of symptoms and conditions, but it is important to understand the distinction.
For example, pain medication may be prescribed to a patient experiencing a pinched nerve resulting from a bulging disc, but this medication doesn’t necessarily treat the disc itself. Likewise, anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended to reduce swelling and allow the disc time to heal, but these medications may not offer the same immediate pain relief.
Some types of medication that may be recommended to patients looking for pinched nerve relief include:
- Acetaminophen — which reduces fever and pain but does not address inflammation
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — that combat inflammation and other pains but isn’t preferable for long-term use
- Steroids — which are powerful drugs that alleviate muscle inflammation, arthritic pain and allergic reactions
- Other options — like antidepressants, anti-seizure medicine and holistic medications are sometimes recommended to alleviate neck or back pain.
Consulting your doctor prior to pinched nerve treatment
It is important that before beginning any medication, you visit your doctor. In addition to needing his or her consent to take certain medications, you must ensure that your treatment will provide you with the pinched nerve relief you require. Medications also come with a variety of potential risks and side effects that need to be fully understood prior to usage.
If you have any questions about pinched nerve treatment or other options of treatment besides pain medication, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our minimally invasive spine surgery offers a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery as well as a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery period.^
During our minimally invasive pinched nerve procedures, our board-certified surgeons+ will make a small incision that is muscle sparing in order to remove the damaged disc and replace it with an artificial disc or bone graft, thereby providing patients with lasting relief from their symptoms. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery, reach out to us and ask for a free MRI review.*