With this era of technology, it is imminent that people develop complications in their spine. Everyone is slouched over their internet devices and is constantly browsing, typing, watching and doing everything they can in their spare time or even during work. The whole world is shifting towards a more cyber platform. Even manual labor jobs are being replaced by technology which isn’t only scary. But it is also worrisome as its causing an increment in unemployment. People everywhere are hooked to their work computers and their mobile phones and are unknowingly developing complications in their spines. Ultimately resulting in mild or severe back pain. Arthritis, however, is also a cause of this ailment is generally older patients. With the advancement in the field of medicine, back pain, however, is treatable and healthcare experts mostly prescribe NSAID for back pain (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
NSAIDs for Backpain
There are a variety of dosage forms available commercially and are helping relieve pain. General patients prefer topical NSAIDs for back pain as it gives effect rapidly.
It is to be noticed that the extensive use of NSAIDs can cause cardiovascular complications.
Below, we have discussed some of the best NSAIDs for back pain that are generally available OTC.
Ibuprofen for Back Pain
It is considered to be one of the most commonly used NSAIDs for back pain as it has a very short onset of action i.e. of 30 minutes. However, it was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1969 and later, in 1974, made its way to the United States of America. It has a simple mechanism of action. As it is non-selective and causes reversible inhibition of the cyclooxygenase enzymes COX-1 and COX-2 by prostaglandin S-1 and S-2. It is commercially available under the product name of “Advil”. The prescribed dose is set to be 200-400 mg per tablet but it can be increased to 800 mg in severe cases. However, only 3200 mg of Advil is recommended in a 24-hour span. Ibuprofen is also very effective against inflammatory back pain and is also used as a topical NSAID for injured athletes.
Ibuprofen is used to treat a variety of painful symptoms but excess use of the medication can lead to an ibuprofen overdose. It occurs when the maximum dose of 3200 mg is crossed. It is advised for the geriatric patients to take as less ibuprofen as they can as they are the ones most prone to ibuprofen overdose as they have a higher risk of developing kidney and gastrointestinal side effects. In extreme cases, it can also prove to be fatal.
Aleve for Back Pain
An NSAID, naproxen is commercially available in the market by the name of Aleve. It is generally used to treat minor aches, including toothache, headache, menstrual cramps, etc. Aleve is also prescribed to patients suffering from inflammatory back pain as it also inhibits COX-1 and COX-2 causing relief from inflammation and pain. Naproxen can also be absorbed by the skin. Therefore, it is also available as a great topical NSAID for back pain. Its ease of availability and long-lasting effect easily gets it a spot in one of the best NSAIDs for back pain. A single pill of Aleve is composed of 220 mg naproxen and it is advised to not consume more than 2 pills in 12 hours or 3 pills in a span of 24 hours. Consequently, causing some adverse effects like heartburn, feeling of indigestion, itching on skin, etc.
Even though Aleve and Ibuprofen have a similar mode of action but it is necessary to keep in mind that they have certain differences in their onsets of action. When a healthcare expert is prescribing either Aleve or Ibuprofen for back pain, he/she keeps this fact in mind that Aleve is a long-acting drug. In addition to that, it is better for chronic pain symptoms on the other hand; Ibuprofen is a short-acting one. Aleve, therefore, causes gastric side effects and this factor raises a red flag for Aleve’s consumption in comparison to Ibuprofen.
Prednisone for Back Pain
Prednisone is another medication used with various indications along with inflammatory back pain. Basically it consists of glucocorticoids that inhibit prostaglandin synthesis. Thereby, it works by suppressing the immune system resulting in a decrease in the inflammation. It is available in the market as a lower back pain release product under the name of Deltasone. It is quite a normal practice in the USA to prescribe prednisone for back pain.
Doan pills are also commercially available NSAIDs which comprise of magnesium salicylate tetrahydrate as its active ingredient. These pills are mostly used to reduce the elements, primarily causing inflammation and/or pain. Doan pills work best as a lower back pain relief product. It is advised to not lie down after taking this medication for at least 10 minutes to avoid side effects like gastric bleeding etc. Although it is safe to consider it to be one of the best NSAIDs for back pain available over the counter. It is contraindicated in pregnant women and should not be taken with aspirin.
Alternative of NSAID
Some of the drugs that aren’t NSAID, yet considered to be really effective in the treatment of back pain.
Gabapentin for Backpain
Gabapentin is a renowned anti-epileptic and anticonvulsant drug associated with neuropathic pain. It affects certain chemicals and nerves in our body that are involved with seizures and pain. It is not really advised to take gabapentin for back pain as it has a slow onset of action. Hence, making it most effective in the case of neuropathic anomalies. Gabapentin also causes drowsiness and tardiness upon intake due to its action on nerves.
It has been noted that this drug isn’t of many effects if the pain has been persistent for more than three months. Nevertheless, lower back pain can be due to many reasons, including sciatica so it is always advised to consult your physician before the consumption of this drug.
So, to get it verified and to check if it is the best NSAID for back pain for you or not. Meanwhile, Gabapentin has shown little or no effect on inflammatory back pain. Therefore, we can’t consider it as an NSAID.