Back pain can be a nuisance when it lingers for a few days or weeks. In our country, back pain is a prevalent problem with which many people struggle for six or more months out of the year. Pain my not be described as debilitating but, when observed closely, seen as a problem that is present more often than not. Back pain keeps people from a productive workday. Pain limits how present a person can be with their friends and family and how actively a person can engage in their day to day life. When we add up the various ways in which back pain affects life, we could most definitely describe even moderate chronic pain as debilitating in some way.
Understandably, when we encounter back pain, neck pain, or chronic headaches, our first response may be to medicate. Over-the-counter medications may provide relief for a short time. In many cases, prescription medications are ultimately needed to manage pain. In and of itself, medication is a remedy that can provide specific benefits. It should not, however, be perceived or portrayed as an effective treatment for pain. Here, we look at the pros and cons of using medication to reduce symptoms of a potential spinal injury.
- Medication does manage pain. When struggling with persistent pain, relief is the name of the game. We just want to feel better. Medication reduces inflammation and loosens muscles, resulting in improved comfort.
- Medication is easy. It doesn’t get much easier than taking a pill, does it? Managing pain with medication helps one avoid time off work and hours spent in a therapy or medical office waiting for treatment.
- Reduced pain means increased mobility. Pain and stiffness from compressed spinal nerves can significantly limit physical movements. By reducing these symptoms, pain medication allows a person to move more comfortably. This can be advantageous when complemented by physical therapy.
- Medication does not treat the source of pain. When we take medication, we feel better, but we aren’t necessarily healing. Chronic neck and back pain signify compression on one or more spinal nerve roots. To gain long-term relief and reduce the risk of a worsening injury, we must look beyond medication as a form of treatment.
- Results vary. For medication to be effective, dosing must be on-point. What happens over time is that the body gets used to a medication. As this happens, the body demands more of that medication to receive the desired effect and dosing must increase periodically.
- Prescription medications can be addictive. We don’t have an opioid epidemic in our country because people use these drugs recreationally. Opioids are powerful painkillers to which many patients unwittingly become addicted as they attempt to manage chronic pain.
Chronic back or neck pain may be easier to resolve than you think. At Innovative Spine Care in Tampa, patients can achieve lasting relief through our minimally invasive discectomy procedure. To learn more, call (813) 920-3022.