WHAT SHOULD I TAKE FOR MY BACK PAIN?
In order to determine which ones were the most effective, a recent issue of the Cochrane Review looked at the medications which are most likely to be prescribed for back pain. For those of you who follow current medical research, the results were not surprising. Although studies like this should lead medical doctors to change the manner in which they prescribe medications for their back pain patients ---- I'm not holding my breath. The study was a Meta-Analysis. This means that although they did not do any new research, they actually looked at numerous similar studies over a period of many years. What drugs did they study?
The Back Pain Medications:
- NSAID’s (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) include drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil) and naproxen (Aleve)
- Another class of NSAID’s called Cox 2 inhibitors (Celecoxib aka Celebrex). Vioxx was one of these drugs, and was pulled years ago because it was killing people.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Muscle Relaxers
- NSAIDs work in the short-term, but they aren’t really better than plain Tylenol. They also have numerous side effects.
- NSAIDs are more effective than a placebo, but with more side effects
- COX-2 inhibitors (a different kind of NSAID) do spare the GI tract; but they don’t work better than the traditional NSAIDs (by the way, newer research is saying they do not spare the GI tract)
- There wasn’t one individual NSAID that worked better than others
- It is not necessary to combine an NSAID with a muscle relaxant. This doesn’t provide greater symptom relief but it does increase the negative side effects
What Did the Experts Determine?
- Expensive prescription drugs do not work any better than Over The Counter cheapies like Tylenol, Advil, Motrin or Aleve.
- All NSAID’s are about the same in regards to relieving back pain ---- and are no better than Tylenol (which, if you ask people who suffer with back pain, is not effective).
- Muscle relaxants are not good for back pain patients as they do not improve outcomes, but do increase the numbers of side-effects.
This does not even touch on the issue of Corticosteroids, which not only have a terrifying array of side effects, but actually work to rapidly degenerate collagen-based tissues (Spinal Discs, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, bone, muscles, etc...). This is why doctors who routinely give STEROID INJECTIONS, should warn patients that even if it helps with their pain, they cannot have very many of them because cortisone eats the Spinal Discs. Unfortunately, these warnings are not given as often as they should be, and if they are, doctors never seem to mention why corticosteroids are dangerous.
Listen folks, you already know that these drugs are not effective for what you are dealing with. The dirty little secret is that you doctor knows it as well. If you are struggling with chronic low back pain, at least think about trying something different than the same old same old. We will sit down and talk. I will review your test results. If I think I can help you, I will. Unfortunately, at least half of those who I consult with are not GOOD CANDIDATES for our Spinal Decompression Program. But those who are tend to get excellent results. Make sure to watch a couple of the Testimonial Videos on our Homepage.