Neck and back pain — pain medication to help relieve chronic pain

Patients who suffer from chronic neck or back pain may find pain relief through conservative methods of treatment, such as pain medication. Pain medication is often used in conjunction with other therapies and helps to relieve the pain of a pinched or compressed nerve in the spine. While pain medication should not be relied on solely to reduce back pain, it can be a good treatment option when other conservative treatments do not offer adequate pain relief.

If you have been diagnosed with a spine condition and you are searching for conservative methods of pain relief, consult your physician about starting a regimen of pain medication to help treat your symptoms. There are several available options of pain medication to treat neck and back pain, though the most common form of medication is narcotics. You should always use this medication under the supervision of a physician to reduce the risk of addiction and improper use of the medication.

Narcotic pain medication overview

Narcotic pain medication is commonly prescribed for spine injuries and conditions that cause chronic neck or back pain.

When a spine condition causes a nerve in the spinal canal to be impacted, the intense pain from the impacted nerve root is sent as a pain signal up the spinal canal and the central nervous system to pain receptors in the brain. Narcotic medications relieve pain by attaching to the pain receptors in the brain and blocking the pain signal from the central nervous system from reaching the receptor.

The most commonly used narcotic medications for neck and back pain include:

  • Codeine
  • Tylenol #3 (Tylenol plus codeine)
  • Panadol (paracetamol plus codeine)
  • Morphine (Oramorph, MS Contin, Avinza, Kadian)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo, Palladone)
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydrocodone with acetaminophen ( Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
  • Hydrocodone with ibuprofen (Vicoprofen)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin,Roxicodone, OxyNorm, Oxy-IR)
  • Oxycodone with acetaminophen (Percocet, Tylox, Roxicet, Roxilox)
  • Oxycodone with aspirin (Percodan, Roxiprin)
  • Tramadol (Ultram)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Fentanyl (Durgesic, Fenora, Actiq)

It is important that all prescriptions and dosages of narcotic pain medication be followed diligently. The use of narcotic pain medication carries the risk of overdose and/or addiction if not used properly. Consult your physician if you suspect that your dosage of pain medication is not correct or if you are experiencing negative side effects of the medication.

Treating chronic neck and back pain with narcotics

While narcotic pain medication is an effective tool to alleviate the pain caused by a spine condition, the pain medication does not actually treat the spine condition itself. By taking narcotics, patients are reliving the symptoms of a spine condition. For this reason, many physicians prescribe pain medication in conjunction with other conservative treatment therapies that target treating the spine condition.

The most common pairings of conservative treatment and pain medication are physical therapy and pain medication and chiropractic care and pain medication. Often, the physical therapy and chiropractic care serve the treat the spine condition by realigning the components of the spine and strengthening the surrounding muscles. The pain medications aid this process by relieving the pain while the spine condition is being healed.

If you have undergone a series of conservative treatments combined with pain medication and you are still not finding lasting pain relief, we encourage you to research other treatment options. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery to help treat the most common spine conditions so you can recapture your quality of life. Our minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery are safer, more effective alternatives to traditional open back surgery.

If you are frustrated and exhausted from living with chronic neck or back pain, we encourage you to reach out to our care team to learn more about the treatment options available to you. Our team will educate you about your spine condition and treatment options based on your condition and medical history so you can make an informed decision about your spine care needs.