Whether you’re in the beginning stages of your treatment for chronic back pain or the advanced stages, you will probably be taking some kind of chronic back pain medication. It’s important to realize that in most cases, the pain medication is not going to cure your back pain. It will make it easier for you to live with the pain and go about your daily life while you get treatment for the chronic back pain. Medication takes care of the symptoms but not the cause.
When you first see a doctor about your chronic back pain, he or she will probably suggest you take an over the counter pain reliever like Tylenol, acetaminophen, Ibuprofen or something in that order. There are usually the least harmful in terms of side effects and causing addictions. In some cases this may be all you need for a chronic back pain medication.
It is important to realize that these medications are not going to work overnight, so don’t expect an immediate fix. If your chronic back pain is caused by something serious, they may not help at all other then to dull the pain so it is more tolerable. Unfortunately, as soon as the medication begins to wear off, the pain will return.
If you are taking any other chronic back pain medication on your own, even herbal medications, it’s important to tell your doctor because many drugs, even nonprescription, can have bad interactions and side effects when mixed. Side effects seem to be more common in older people.
Some of the more common chronic back pain medications your doctor may prescribe for you first are acetaminophen and anti-inflammatory nonsteroid drugs such as aspirin, Advil. It’s generally not a good idea to take any of these for more than 10 days unless your physician advises you otherwise.
Antidepressants are being used more and more as a chronic back pain medication. They are being used for two main reasons. One reason is because depression plays a large part in contributing to or antagonizing chronic pain and making it worse. When we are in better spirits, we usually feel better physically as well. Another reason is antidepressants often have some of the same characteristics as muscle relaxants. Two very common antidepressants used to treat pain are Amitriptyline and Cymbalta.
Corticosteroids are also used as a chronic back pain medication to help with the pain as well as lessen the pain. They are often given as injections. One common corticosteroids is prednisone, which is very successful in certain back problems. Some of the other medications are oral prescriptions such as those that work like a local anesthetic or anticonvulsants, which will also lessen pain that is the nerves. There are many types of chronic back pain medications your doctor may ask you to try to see the one that gives the best results with the least discomfort and side affects.