Medication to Ease Back PainMedication to Ease Back Pain

When experiencing back pain, the first line of treatment is usually medication. Because back pain can have multiple causes, it’s necessary to meet with a medical specialist to obtain an accurate diagnosis. There are four commonly used types of medication to ease back pain.

  • Anti-inflammatory.Lower back pain can be caused by inflammation. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine, like ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce pain.
  • Prescription NSAIDs. Other anti-inflammatory medications are only available by prescription, such as celecoxib and meloxicam. While OTC NSAIDs generally have little side effects, prescription-strength NSAIDs can have more serious ones, such as ulcers and kidney damage.
  • Opioids. Stronger back pain relievers, like acetaminophen paired with hydrocodone, can help individuals whose pain has not been relieved by other options. While opioids can be effective pain reducers, resulting drowsiness can impair functioning. Opioid medication should be monitored closely due to risk of dependence.
  • Corticosteriods. Applied topically or by injection, corticosterioid medication also reduces inflammation, and is generally safer than opioids when NSAIDs and muscle relaxers do not improve symptoms. Because corticosteroid medication is given for a short period of time, it is more convenient and effective for many suffering with back pain.


Speak with a Specialist


Before taking over-the-counter medications, speak with a specialist about the most appropriate treatment for your specific needs.