Experiencing Lower Back Pain? Learn About Your Treatment Options


Over-the-Counter (OTC) Pain Relief Medication

Most people with back pain can find effective relief using over-the-counter (OTC) medicines; however, many do not take them correctly which increases risks for side effects and increases risks. Before continuing on with this article and your back pain is severe and associated with numbness, weakness, or issues related to bowel and bladder function, contacts your primary care physician immediately for an in-office neurologic exam.


The lumbar spine consists of five bones called vertebrae connected by cushiony disks. A herniated disk can slip and press against nerves, leading to back pain.


Painkillers are typically the go-to choice when experiencing discomfort. Acetaminophen and no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the two most frequently taken.


Acetaminophen and no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) both help relieve discomfort, lower fever and alleviate other symptoms like swelling and indigestion, with NSAIDs often doing better at relieving inflammation than aspirin; if neither helps you, however, another painkiller might be necessary.


Your pharmacist can assist in selecting an ideal medicine based on the nature and cause of your discomfort, such as an infectious or inflammatory condition.


Always read and heed the patient information leaflet that comes with any medicine you take and follow its instructions exactly. It will show how much, how often and for how long it can safely be taken. Never exceed the recommended dose; taking more could be dangerous. Also check labels of other medicines you are taking so as not to accidentally double-dose or mix up different types of painkillers.


Painkillers containing codeine may become habit-forming; therefore, you should only take them for more than three days without consulting with your physician first.


If you suffer from liver disease, stomach ulcers or heart issues, some over-the-counter painkillers might not be appropriate for you. Also, some antidepressant and blood thinner medicines might interact with certain OTC painkillers.



Prescription Drugs

If you or a patient’s discomfort is severe or they are not responding to over-the-counter NSAIDs, a doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants. Some individuals cannot safely take these medicines so their physician will help decide which option is most suitable.


Along with medications like Tylenol that act as an analgesic and others that contain numbing agents there are topical creams and ointments available that provide relief – including prescription NSAIDs and muscle relaxants that provide similar effects.


Chronic back pain is best addressed through non-drug therapies, including exercise, heat or massage therapy and multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs that combine physiotherapy and psychological therapies. Such approaches can relieve the discomfort while improving function while teaching new habits that could prevent future episodes of back discomfort.


If you’re experiencing severe back pain, it’s crucial that you see a healthcare provider as soon as possible. For instance, the professionals at the Centre for Health and Performance will examine your spine, asking how far the pain limits movement. An X-ray may also be ordered to rule out problems like arthritis or broken bones; depending on their results and health history review they may suggest additional tests such as an MRI to pinpoint its source.


Steroid medication combined with local anesthetic injections can be administered directly into specific areas of the spine to block pain. The process typically occurs in either a doctor’s office or surgery center and often uses an x-ray machine as guidance to guide needle placement into precise locations. The injections themselves tend to be quick, painless and quicker than traditional CT scans.


Epidural Steroid Injections (https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/tests-treatments-medications/treatments/low-back-pain-should-i-try-epidural-steroid-shots) are often recommended to ease lower back pain caused by herniated discs or spinal stenosis in the lower back area. These injections combine numbing medication and steroids in order to decrease pressure on larger nerves that surround the spinal cord, thus relieving pain. They are typically administered quickly and painlessly at a doctor’s office or hospital and take approximately 20 minutes for completion.


Caudal Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections (CUE) deliver an anesthetic and steroid medication directly into your lower spinal nerves to provide pain relief that persists despite other conservative treatments. The injection is administered via an opening in your sacrum called the sacral hiatus to access these nerves directly.


Facet joint injections target the facet joints located between vertebrae in the spine to relieve any associated discomfort, such as degenerative spine disease, osteoarthritis or whiplash injuries.


Medial branch blocks are another noninvasive injection therapy option designed to target small nerves in your spinal facet joints to relieve any associated discomfort, making this an effective remedy for conditions and injuries such as sciatica, degenerative spondylolisthesis, spinal osteoarthritis and whiplash injuries.




Most back pain can be alleviated with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relief medication; however if it continues to worsen it’s time to visit your healthcare provider who will assess and possibly order imaging tests to identify what’s causing the discomfort.


Your spine consists of 24 vertebrae that stack atop each other to form your spinal column, known as vertebrae – as seen here. The lower section, known as lumbar spine, supports your weight while providing nerve pathways through it that send messages down your legs and arms – nerves which can become compressed from herniated discs or narrowing of openings in your spine known as spinal stenosis causing pain in certain places in your back.


Back pain may also be caused by arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis) or spinal cord compression disease. Bone problems in your lower spine may also contribute to low back discomfort including sciatica – which occurs when pain radiates down one or both legs starting in your back or buttocks and moving down along either leg.


It is indeed beneficial to conduct research before opting for any medication. To gain comprehensive details and insights into the field of physiotherapy, I recommend visiting the website https://physiotherapy.ca/. An informed decisions regarding your health and well-being is always the best decision

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