How ibuprofen can reduce your neck or back pain

If you are experiencing neck or back pain, a conservative approach including over-the-counter or prescription drugs like ibuprofen is a great starting point on the road to recovery. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) prescribed to reduce arthritic pain and stiffness, fever and mild to moderate pain caused by muscle inflammation. Ibuprofen is available in prescription dose and a lower, over-the-counter dose — commonly sold under the brand names Advil and Motrin. NSAIDs can be effective in relieving aches and pains by preventing the body from producing a specific prostaglandin that controls pain and inflammation. Prostaglandins are hormones made at the site of tissue damage as part of the healing process.

Over-the-counter doses are acceptable beginning with infants over the age of 6 months unless told otherwise by your physician. It is extremely important to follow the dosing instructions, as an overdose can result in damage to the stomach or intestines. Use only the smallest amount necessary upon seeking relief for your pain. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs do have a number of notable side effects and risks. It is always advisable to speak with a physician before using any medication. Check out the information below to see if ibuprofen is the right treatment for you.

Benefits of ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is an effective type of pain medication that reduces muscle inflammation and can relieve pain from inflammation caused by types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Ibuprofen is also sometimes recommended to help treat spondylosis in chronic pain sufferers. By blocking the effect of natural chemicals called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes, pain and inflammation diminish.

Risks of ibuprofen

Studies have shown that people who take ibuprofen and other NSAIDs for an extended period may be at higher risk for heart attack or stroke than those who do not take these medications. Consult a physician before taking ibuprofen if you have ever had a bad reaction to any other anti-inflammatory pain reliever. It is extremely important that you tell your physician if you have a family history of heart problems, high blood pressure or cholesterol; if you smoke; or if you have diabetes. Failure to do so may put you at risk for potentially dangerous consequences. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pain, slurred speech, angina or other unexplained weakness, get medical help immediately.

Other instances that could prompt a visit with a medical professional include:

  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Fever
  • Blisters
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Heart palpitations
  • Unexplained back pain
  • Confusion
  • Aggression

Further treatment

If you have yet to find long-lasting relief for your neck and back pain after taking ibuprofen and have exhausted all other conservative options proposed by your doctor, surgery may be recommended. Contact Laser Spine Institute today to receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.

Our team of board-certified surgeons+ has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain since 2005.