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Many people who suffer from chronic lower back pain feel uncomfortable taking opioid pain medication due to the risk of addiction. In addition, opioids may not be the best overall choice to manage your chronic pain—you'll develop a resistance to opioids the longer you take them, which makes them less effective at reducing your pain.
1. Non-opioid Medication
For chronic lower back pain, non-opioid medications that are effective include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants.
NSAIDs are available both by prescription and over the counter. These medications work by interfering with your body's ability to produce prostaglandins, which cause inflammation and irritate your nerves. Lower back pain is often made worse by inflammation, so NSAIDs can help control the pain.
Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen—you can find them at any drug store. If over-the-counter medications aren't providing enough back pain relief, ask your doctor for information about prescription NSAIDs. While mostly used for arthritis pain, these medications are often useful for lower back pain as well.
Muscle relaxants can be combined with NSAIDs for your back pain treatment, and they're especially useful if your lower back pain is caused by muscle spasms or if the muscles in your lower back are tight. Muscle relaxants are only available by prescription, so you'll need to talk to your doctor about using them for back pain relief.
Regular exercise that strengthens your core muscles helps to take some of the weight off of your back and can improve your posture, both of which can bring you back pain relief. If you have chronic back pain due to an injury, it's best to select exercises that don't place any additional stress on your spine, such as swimming or using an elliptical trainer. Some forms of exercise, such as resistance training, can be dangerous for people with back injuries—before you hit the weight room, ask your doctor if resistance training is safe for you to do and if you need to avoid certain movements.
3. Meditation and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Chronic pain is often worsened by anxiety and depression, and living with the pain itself can contribute to both of these conditions. It's a powerful feedback loop that can lead to debilitating chronic pain. Adding meditation to your daily routine can help alleviate these feelings and make chronic pain easier to manage. Scheduling an appointment with a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy can also help—it can help you cope with chronic pain and aid in breaking negative thought patterns that can lead to depression.
As you can see, there are a number of effective options for back pain relief that don't involve taking opioid medication. When you're treating chronic pain, it's best to take a trial-and-error approach. Work with your doctor to find medications that help you manage your back pain and try adding meditation and exercise to your daily routine. Combining multiple back pain treatment methods will often have a synergistic effect, helping you to find sufficient back pain relief.
Talk to a medical professional about back pain relief today for more information.Share