Published on September 9, 2012
Low back pain can be very severe and unpleasant. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” Therefore, it is extremely important to understand that pain is personalized based on many different contributing factors and inputs to our brain from our emotional system (stress regulation), cognitive (e.g. memories) and sensory inputs (skin, muscles, connective tissue, etc.).
There are Many Back Pain Medications Which Can Be Used To Combat Chronic Back Pain
When a patient is experiencing severe acute or chronic back pain there are several medications that are often prescribed to help the patient cope with their pain. These medications can include anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen or celebrex. Acetaminophen such as Tylenol can also be used for pain control. For severe muscle spasms Flexeril is commonly prescribed which acts at the spinal cord level to help control muscle contractions.
In extreme cases of neck and low back pain oxycodone may be prescribed to help with pain control. It is an opioid medication with a high addiction rate thus patients must be monitored very carefully by a pain specialist to prevent addiction and to control dosage. Physicians may also prescribe Amitriptyline to patients who are experiencing severe nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain. Amitriptyline is an anti-depressant that has been shown to be very effective in reducing one’s perception of pain in the brain. Gabapentin is an anti-convulsant which has also been used recently with excellent results to help control neuropathic pain by reducing the excitability of the nerve.
Our brain changes the way we perceive pain when we neglect to treat the root of the problem right from the start. If we alter the way we move and function our brain also changes to believe this is the new norm. Therefore, if you are injured get help immediately by a regulated health care professional immediately so to prevent your pain from becoming chronic. Chronic cases of back pain are much more difficult to treat as we are not only treating the physical changes, but the emotional and cognitive changes too.
Taking a Back Pain Drug Should Only Be One Part of Your Overall Back Pain Treatment
As we all know, medications have side effects that are often much worse than the original problem. Therefore, we want to only use the back pain medications in severe cases. We aim to assist chronic back pain patients in beginning active rehabilitation treatments, with the ultimate goal of slowly decreasing the medications as much as possible.