Ibuprofen for Back Pain: Does It Work?


There are few health problems that are more common than back pain. According to some estimates, as much as 80% of people may experience a back issue at some point during life. Many back problems become chronic, and the pain is one of the leading causes of disability globally. Therefore, it makes sense that researchers wanted to examine the efficacy of ibuprofen for back pain.

We’re going to take a look at the common medications provided for back pain. Then we will look at the research and whether it reveals ibuprofen for back pain can really help. Finally, we will examine a natural therapy that has helped some patients to find long-term back pain relief. 

Common Back Pain Treatments: Do They Work? 

Depending on the degree of pain that you find yourself in, and the preference of your doctor, you may get varying suggestions for back pain treatment. The number one medication that is recommended to patients is acetaminophen. However, there is research that suggests this is not a successful way to find back pain relief. Plus, this drug can be difficult on the liver, so some patients may not be able to take it. You also have to be careful of overdosing.

The next most suggested medication is ibuprofen. This is a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drug. It sounds like it would make sense for this type of medicine to help with back pain, but does it? A recent study looked at research from 35 other trials that involved more than 6,000 patients with back pain. They found that only about 1 out of 6 patients received any benefits from taking ibuprofen for back pain. The researchers argued that from a clinical standpoint, ibuprofen made little to no difference for back pain sufferers. 

Another shocking thing that the researchers discovered is that patients who take anti-inflammatory drugs for back pain are two and a half times more likely to experience stomach ulcers, bleeding, and other gastrointestinal problems. Plus, last summer, the American Heart Association warned of a link between ibuprofen and heart failure. 

So what about the third most common suggestion for back pain. Believe it or not, number three on the list is still opioids. This is despite the addiction issues across America and the fact that patients in clinical trials who take opioids for back pain rarely feel any better than those taking a placebo. 

It is clear that medications do little to help with back pain. So where can you turn for genuine relief? 

A Natural Alternative to Ibuprofen for Back Pain 

We would like to recommend a natural alternative to ibuprofen for back pain – upper cervical chiropractic care. What is upper cervical chiropractic, and how can it help with back pain? Here are a few things that you should know about this unique form of chiropractic care.

  • Focused – Upper cervical chiropractors work with the top two bones in the neck specifically. As we will discuss in a moment, this is effective for back pain because spine health moves from the top down.
  • Precise – With measurements down to hundredths of a millimeter, this is a very precise approach to chiropractic care. X-rays are used to calculate exact adjustments for each individual. 
  • Gentle – There is no rough popping or twisting of the neck in upper cervical chiropractic. Adjustments are low force, making them safe for patients of all ages and health levels.  

This may sound very different from what you are used to when it comes to chiropractic care. However, we still need to explain how precise and gentle adjustments of the top two bones in the neck can help with pain throughout the spine. 

Back Pain and Spine Health 

Back pain stems from many different underlying causes. You may be experiencing a premature wearing of the discs between the vertebrae, or a disc may be bulging. There may also be pinched nerves due to spinal misalignments, which can result in pain along with numbness or tingling. You can also get arthritis in your spine. 

However, all of these issues may go back to the spine being in a stressed position. What may be causing the stress on the back? You might be surprised how often the real underlying issue is in the upper cervical spine. Why do upper cervical misalignments have this effect throughout the back?

When the top bones in the neck become misaligned, it can affect the balance of the head. The body springs into action to correct this severe issue. Unfortunately, that means changes will take place along the spine, including in the surrounding soft tissue. The results can be misalignments throughout the back, pinched nerves, disc problems, or even early onset arthritis in the spine. 

To receive long-term relief from back pain, you need to get to the source of the problem. Tiny corrections of alignment for the C1 and C2 can have far-reaching effects, bringing the spine into better position and allowing the surrounding soft tissue to heal and stabilize. This can get the spine out of the stressed situation that is causing wear or irritating nerves. Therefore, upper cervical adjustment may be your first step in finding natural back pain relief. 

If you are tired of getting limited benefits when using ibuprofen for back pain, then it is time to go to the source. Find an upper cervical practitioner near you with the help of the search feature on this website, and begin your wellness journey today!

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.