MEDICATION AND LOW BACK PAIN
What role does medication play in the treatment of back pain?
Clinicians are often asked what are the best forms of medication to take to help with their pain, as individuals often reach for or are prescribed/recommended pain medication for treatment/relief of symptoms. Common medications used to treat back pain include paracetamol, anti-inflammatories and opioids.
A recently published review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine outlines that many pain medications have little benefit over placebo, education/exercise/physiotherapy should be offered before medication, and any medication needs to be given with the proper education around potential side-effects (Traeger et al., 2017).
Some guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to medication and back pain:
🔸*Medication should not be the primary method of treatment.
🔹*Medication may help you feel better, but it will not get you better quicker.
🔸*Medication should be reserved for those in relatively severe pain as a way to keep them active (an active approach to recovery is always vital).
🔹*Take pain medication at the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible time.
🔸*Actively discontinuing medication should always be a primary treatment goal.
B. Health Sciences (Physio), APAM