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How to Choose Your Medicines Wisely for Back Pain?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Vishwas Virmani 90% (26284 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Noida  •  22 years experience
How to Choose Your Medicines Wisely for Back Pain?


Pain killers-or analgesics-are drugs that work by interfering with the pain transmission process.

Depending  on the cause and type of your back pain, some analgesics may be more appropriate than others. Paracetamol and aspirin-like drugs(non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] are often used to relieve pain caused by musculo skeletal conditions, whereas the opoid analgesics,codeine and morphine, are more suitable for treating moderate or severe pain that originates from damage to the internal organs of the body (e.g. the heart,lungs, liver, bladder, kidney and reproductive organs). 

The appropriateness of the various types of drugs also depends on whether your pain is acute or chronic. Although many of the drugs used are the same, they may be used at different doses or more or less frequently.Whilst your doctor can prescribe you a number of different types of pain killers, in many cases, drugs that can be purchased without a prescription are sufficient to relieve many kinds of back pain. You can buy these drugs yourself from your pharmacist, and if you pay for your prescription, this may be cheaper than acquiring the same drug from your doctor with a prescription. 

Your pharmacist will advise you which types of drugs are most appropriate for you. Always take medication as directed on the packaging and consult your doctor if the pain persists.Since some types of analgesic are stronger than others, you will usually start with one of the weaker drugs and if this fails to relieve your pain sufficiently, you may work your way up to a stronger drug. 

If the stages in pain relief are considered to be like the rungs of a ladder, then most people will have their pain relieved at the lowest rung. 

The higher up the pain relief ladder you go, the more likely you are to experience unpleasant drug-related side-effects.

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