Medications for neck pain, back pain and underlying spinal conditions

Medications can be purchased over the counter or be prescribed by a medical professional to treat, prevent or manage an array of different conditions in patients of all ages who have been diagnosed with neck pain, back pain and underlying spinal conditions. Available in a variety of forms, including capsule, liquid, injection and aerosol, pain medications have a wide range of applications and dosages.

Some pain medication, like acetaminophen, is widely used for reducing pain and fever, whereas ibuprofen is a much more effective anti-inflammatory agent but can also lead to more side effects. Since every medication has side effects, selecting the proper pain medication typically requires the input of your primary care doctor. To learn about the types of pain medication as well as the advantages and disadvantages of taking them, read the following article.

Types of pain medication

Medications are recommended to alleviate a wide variety of symptoms and conditions, but the distinction between treating symptoms and treating the underlying condition is important. For example, pain medication may be prescribed to an individual experiencing back pain from a herniated disc to alleviate pain but they do not necessarily treat the damaged disc itself. Anti-inflammatory medication, on the other hand, reduces swelling, which provides the disc time to heal while the swelling is down.

Some examples of medications include:

  • Ultram — for moderate and moderately severe pain
  • Acetaminophen — for mild pain, headaches and fever
  • Ibuprofen — for arthritic pain, muscle soreness and inflammation
  • Oral steroids — for inflammation, allergic reaction and arthritic pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — for muscle soreness and inflammation
  • Anti-seizure medications — for managing epileptic seizures and reducing the sensitivity of nerves to stimulation
  • Antidepressants — for managing depression and relieving chronic pain by changing the perception of pain
  • Opioids — are commonly prescribed habit-forming medications that alter the perception of pain

Benefits and risks of medication

With any medication, the patient needs to fully understand the benefits and potential risks of the drug as well as its proper usage. Many medications can offer significant benefits but also come with risk and the potential for abuse. Some medications may not be recommended for children or pregnant women. It is very important to always check with your doctor before taking a new medication, even if it is available over the counter, and to fully read the warning labels. Additionally, many medications induce side effects, such as dizziness, headache, fatigue, dry mouth, constipation and increased blood pressure.

Neck or back pain treatment

Medications for neck and back conditions can offer significant benefits to patients of all ages. However, depending on the severity of your condition, further treatment may be required to provide you with lasting relief from your pain and discomfort. For instance, if several weeks or months of medication, as well as other conservative treatments like physical therapy, chiropractic care and low-impact exercise, fail to provide you with adequate relief, surgical intervention may become necessary.

If this is the case for you, then contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery. Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Our outpatient procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, as well as a shorter recovery period and lower risk of complication.^

Through the use of a small incision that is muscle sparing, our highly skilled surgeons are able to relieve your symptoms and get you back to the activities you have been missing out on. To find out if you are a potential candidate for one of the procedures offered at our state-of-the-art facilities, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.*