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Medications play an efficient role in the treatment of back or neck pain. Your doctor may prescribe several medications to help reduce pain and associated symptoms that are caused by unhealthy spinal conditions or deformities.

When healthcare professionals prescribe a medication regimen, the precise needs of the patient including severity and period of pain and medical history of the individual are considered in the treatment of chronic low back pain. The main aim of prescribing medications is to reduce the pain and increase the comfort level of the patient and reduce the danger of misuse or abuse of the medications.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

These are the most commonly prescribed medications to treat chronic conditions of pain. These medications have robust analgesic effects which will be sustained for long periods of time without any concerns of toxicity or dependence. With the dual action of analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, these medications help alleviate pain and inflammation.

Long-term use of NSAID’s may result in indigestion, dyspepsia, drowsiness, skin bruising, high blood pressure, fluid retention, headache, skin rashes, reduced kidney function, ulcers, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Opioid pain medications

Because of possible toxicity to the body, physical dependence, and the loss of efficacy due to developmental tolerance and psychological dependence or addiction, opioid medical care or narcotic administration is widely rejected in the treatment of chronic back pain.

Opioids are typically prescribed for patients with chronic nonmalignant pain, including low back pain that experience high levels of comfort while not developing toxicity to the body or having any indication of psychological dependence or addiction. Opioid therapy should be considered as the last treatment option in cases of unrelieved pain despite alternative medications (such as use of non-opioid drugs). Patients should be informed regarding the side effects of opioids and suggested to follow-up with their doctor regularly. Monthly appointments should be scheduled to assess the dose of the drug until the patient experiences partial or complete relief of pain.

Psychiatric drugs

Pain involves many alternative systems within the body, therefore characterized as a multidimensional phenomenon.

There are a few basic factors to be considered to ensure the appropriate use of psychiatric medications for low back pain. Primarily, the doctor should perceive the reason for pain so as to determine whether or not the pain will be responsive to the medicine. Any psychiatric disorders inflicting pain or incapacity should be diagnosed accurately so the symptoms referring to the disorder will be known for treatment. Secondly, patients must be restricted from analgesics or sedative drug medications so as to judge pain and functional capability and to assess treatment results.


Some injections are beneficial in the recovery of back pain and inflammation. These include:

  • Epidural steroid injections contain steroid and local anesthetic agent which are injected around the spinal nerves, usually cervical and lumbar regions.
  • Sacroiliac joint injections involve injecting local anesthetic and steroid agent into the affected sacroiliac joint.
  • Facet joint block is a technique in which a combination of local anesthetic agent and corticosteroid is administered in the facet joint.
  • Medial branch block is a method of injecting local anesthetic with or without steroids near the nerve supplying the specific facet joint.
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