Lower back pain is a fairly common condition. About 619 million or 23% of people around the world experience lower back pain, and about 75% to 85% of adults in the United States experience it. Chronic or long-lasting lower back pain affects about 65 million people in the United States. About 49% of U.S. adults take medicine for their lower back pain, particularly painkillers.
5 medicines for lower back pain improvement
According to research, NSAIDs are typically recommended as the best medicine for lower back pain. Here are 5 medications — rom NSAIDs to heating pads to cortisone shots — that can help improve lower back pain:
- Acetaminophen or Tylenol — Acetaminophen is a medicine for lower back pain that helps treat low or medium pain without inflammation. Compared to other over-the-counter medications, acetaminophen has a lower likelihood of producing stomach irritation and bleeding.
- Ibuprofen or Advil and Motrin — The NSAID ibuprofen is a medicine for lower back pain that helps treat low to medium pain levels and inflammation. A dose of ibuprofen lasts for four to six hours.
- Naproxen or Aleve — A dose of the NSAID naproxen lasts eight to 12 hours, which is significantly longer than a dose of ibuprofen.
- Magnesium salicylate tetrahydrate or Doan’s — Despite a higher risk for bleeding, the NSAID magnesium salicylate tetrahydrate has a similar effectiveness in treating lower back pain compared to ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Injection treatments, such as cortisone shots — Qualified medical professionals can administer cortisone shots to temporarily reduce inflammation and back pain by targeting the epidural area. The epidural area is the part of the spinal cord where the roots of nerves are located, which is one possible source of lower back pain.
Finding the best medicine for lower back pain depends on a variety of factors, including your age and medical history. A combination of some medications may be your best bet. For instance, some medical professionals may recommend taking small doses of both acetaminophen and ibuprofen at the same time. Taking these two medicines together may be more effective for your lower back pain than taking either one alone, as both pain and inflammation can be minimized. A physical therapist can help determine the treatment option and type of medicine for lower back pain that works best for you.
Why PT can be a good pain-relieving alternative to medicine for lower back pain
Physical therapy can be a good pain-relieving alternative to medicine for lower back pain because of these five PT benefits:
- Reduced swelling — Massage and manual therapy can increase blood flow and reduce the swelling caused by inflammation. The reduction in swelling may lead to less pain in the lower back.
- Decreased muscle strain — Massages during physical therapy can reduce lower back pain if it is caused by muscle strain. Massages increase blood flow in the area near the muscle strain, which reduces pain and shortens the recovery period.
- Improved mobility of lower back — Massages during physical therapy break up the affected tissue areas. The broken-up tissue improves blood flow and minimizes inflamed areas.
- Loosened knots in back muscles — Heat from heating pads can naturally loosen the back muscles, which reduces the pressure on your back. This reduction in pressure can decrease pain and increase mobility.
- Improved blood flow — A heating pad can increase blood flow to your lower back, providing oxygen to the injured muscles.
REPAIR SI can help treat lower back pain in ways that decrease the need for medicines
In need of treatment for lower back pain? At REPAIR SI, we offer a variety of services, from physical therapy to acupuncture to fitness training. Our team of licensed physical therapists offers custom physical therapy plans that can help get you off over-the-counter and prescription medicines as quickly as possible.
Your treatment at REPAIR SI will focus on the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of your life. We value whole-body treatment, which means that we approach your care with your whole wellness in mind, not just one problem area. This is why we’re working with our community to give you the high-quality services that you need.
You can count on REPAIR SI for high-quality care. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about how we can help treat your lower back pain. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.