If you frequently experience lower back pain, you might be pretty familiar with analgesics. In fact, you might be taking ibuprofen for lower back pain. But how exactly do these work? Is it your only option for lower back pain relief? Did you know that there are two main types of analgesics? Let’s help you get to know about your go-to back pain remedy by understanding how it works and what other option you can try as an alternative source of relief.
Understanding Back Pain Medicine
For most people, analgesics or pain relievers are their first line of defense for their aching lower back. Here are some examples of the top picks of most people who complain about low back pain:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- Muscle relaxants (Flexeril, Skelaxin, and Zanaflex)
- Antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Clomipramine, etc.)
Analgesics for Lower Back Pain: How Do They Work?
So, how exactly do these back pain medications work? The answer depends on the type of analgesics that you want to take. Essentially, there are two main types that patients usually take to cope with pain: non-opioids and opioids. Here’s a closer look at the two:
- Non-opioid pain medications – Acetaminophen, COX-2 inhibitors, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) block the pain signals from the injured or affected body part. They also interact with the enzymes that set off an inflammatory response.
- Opioid pain medications – Opioids used for low back pain interfere with the brain’s ability to interpret the transmitted information from your pain sensors.
Choosing which medication to take for low back pain depends on what you’re looking for. But the most commonly used over-the-counter analgesic is ibuprofen for lower back pain. It’s generally preferred over other pain relievers because it is fast-acting and widely available.
When in doubt about the medication to take, talk to your doctor. This will help you understand the specific drugs to take and the exact dosage you need to achieve relief.
Ibuprofen for Lower Back Pain
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, substances in your body that cause pain, swelling, and inflammation. You may also use ibuprofen to relieve minor arthritis pain and headaches caused by neck muscle spasms.
As a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), ibuprofen reduces the production of prostaglandins – hormones that trigger the body’s inflammatory response. Take it right before bedtime to ensure better absorption if you’re taking medication like ibuprofen for lower back pain.
Proper Dosage of Analgesics
If your physician prescribes NSAIDs, take them according to the provided instructions and dosages. Do not take more than eight tablets (320 milligrams) of ibuprofen per week or 3200 milligrams of naproxen sodium per week unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Call your doctor if you need more than that and do not have another reason for taking them.
Also, don’t forget to ask about the drug’s contraindications, especially if you are taking other prescription medications. This will help you find a suitable prescription or ask for other potential remedies.
Safe and Effective Relief for Lower Back Pain
Conventional wisdom tells us that medicines effectively eliminate or soothe lower back pain. While this is true, there are other options that you can explore. One example of which is upper cervical chiropractic care. It is a natural way of correcting one of the root cause of low back pain – misaligned spinal bones.
Instead of using medications or surgical intervention, an upper cervical doctor applies gentle adjustments to the topmost neckbones. This helps relieve tension from the displaced bones, compressed nerve roots, and irritated brainstem tissues.
Upper cervical care is a holistic approach that incorporates various techniques to unlock whole-body wellness. It also entails a sophisticated diagnostic process to check the severity of a cervical subluxation, analyze the spine’s structure, and obtain the exact measurements needed to adjust the C1 and C2 neck bones.
Proper diagnosis of your C1 and C2 bones will help an upper cervical doctor gauge how far the bones shifted and assess possible damages to your nerves. It will also help you understand how the process works and how long it might take to retrain your spinal column.
Then, once the doctor has a complete overview of your postural problem, you may begin receiving chiropractic adjustments. It would take several adjustments to ease the neck bones back to their place and restore balance in your spine. But, many patients note that they experience significant improvements right after their first few sessions with an upper cervical chiropractic physician.
No matter how severe your lower back pain is, we strongly encourage you to visit an upper cervical chiropractic doctor to have your neck bones assessed and adjusted.
Get to the Bottom of Your Lower Back Pain Problem
Do you suffer from lower back pain? And do you often use ibuprofen for lower back pain? If so, you may have misaligned spinal bones, which may be impinging on your nerve roots and muscles. Naturally, the longer the postural problem lingers, the more severe and frequent your bouts of lower back pain you will experience.
Please get in touch with an upper cervical doctor to check if you have cervical subluxation. You can also browse blog posts here at Upper Cervical Awareness to understand how the technique works and why it works well for people with mild to severe low back pain.
Upper Cervical Awareness also has a directory of licensed and experienced chiropractors in the United States. Visit the UCA Doctors’ Portal to book an appointment with a chiropractor near you!