Analgesics are pain-relieving medications, also known as painkillers. These can be over-the-counter and prescription medications. Either could be part of a treatment plan for spine-related pain. Individuals dealing with back or neck conditions, typically take analgesics to reduce symptoms.
Acetaminophen, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and topical analgesics are the most commonly used medications for various pain symptoms. Over-the-counter analgesics are most effective when taken at the first sign/presentation of acute pain. Whiplash, along with muscle sprains and strains are common injuries known to cause short term pain that can be mild to severe. Follow the medication’s instructions on dosage recommendations and precautions.
If the medication does not work or helps manage the pain, and/or pain symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare provider. This could be an indicator that a more powerful prescription analgesic is needed to help manage the pain, along with added therapy like physical therapy, and chiropractic to help avoid dependence on the prescription meds.
Tylenol is one form of medication taken for different types of pain and is one of the most popular over-the-counter analgesics. Acetaminophen’s purpose is exclusively to relieve pain. It does not reduce inflammation.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work to reduce inflammation and pain. Types of over-the-counter These include:
Topical analgesics like capsaicin cream and salicylates are an alternative to analgesics taken by mouth. These creams, balms, gels, and sprays are applied to the painful area. It is a very common application and is widely used for joint, muscle, and back pain. Salicylates are plant-based chemicals that operate to decrease the body’s production of prostaglandins. These are lipids that let the body know that there is a problem causing inflammation and pain.
A doctor could prescribe an analgesic as part of a treatment plan to help manage short-term and chronic pain. It is extremely important to precisely follow the doctor’s instructions on how much and when to take the medication. Remember that any of these medications have the potential for side effects, which includes the risk of negative interactions when taken with other meds. Be sure to talk with a doctor about potential risks, and keep them informed about all medications like blood pressure and diabetes meds and natural herbs/vitamins/supplements taken for other medical conditions.
Cyclo-oxygenase-2 or COX-2 inhibitors are a prescription NSAID medication type that is formulated to target specific enzymes that trigger inflammation. Inflammation is not just a symptom but can also be a cause of pain related to many different spinal disorders. COX-2 inhibitors have a lower risk of causing/contributing to gastrointestinal problems.
There are other potential side effects and risks associated with COX-2 inhibitors. Potential side effects include an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, like a heart attack or blood clots. COX-2 inhibitors reduce the risk of stomach problems than classic NSAIDs but if gastrointestinal conditions exist to talk with a doctor before taking these medications.
These are highly potent analgesics and are no longer the first type of pain-relieving medication that a doctor prescribes. They are now to be the last resort for reducing moderate to severe pain symptoms. These medications work by decreasing the perception and reaction to the pain. Opioids are prescribed for short-term use following surgical procedures and trauma. However, there are different situations where use is appropriate. When opioids are recommended, the doctor will begin with the lowest strength/dosage to manage the pain. Types of opioids include:
Opioids have an increased risk for addiction and abuse. If an opioid-based medication is prescribed the medication is safe and effective as long as it is used exactly as the doctor instructs. Side effects can include:
Analgesic medications are commonly used for various types of pain-causing conditions. When they are used properly with a doctor’s supervision they are safe and effective at managing pain and discomfort. If new symptoms present and/or the pain worsens or becomes different contact your doctor on appropriate instructions.
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The information herein on "Analgesics Pain Symptom Relieving Medications" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
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