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TREATMENTS FOR BACK PAIN
Treatment and management of your back pain depends on what type of back pain you’re experiencing. Most back pain is mechanical, but if your back pain is inflammatory, it’s important your doctor knows that, as it can affect your treatment plan.
"For a long time, I believed severe back pain was just my lot in life. But then I was formally diagnosed with inflammatory back pain. It was a life changer – it meant finding out about treatments and options that are specific to what I have."
- Frank, Markham, Ontario**Actual patient. May not be representative of all patients.
There are many different medical treatments for back pain; some are given primarily to treat the symptoms you are feeling, while others are given to address the underlying causes of back pain.
MECHANICAL BACK PAIN
If your pain is considered to be mechanical in nature here are some of the types of medications that could be recommended by your doctor.
* Note that this is not a complete list of medications, and that the medications listed below are also used to treat other conditons. If you have questions about any of the medications listed below, contact your healthcare professional.
NSAIDs and acetaminophen
Stomach pain, ulcers or bleeding, and liver or kidney damage.
Drowsiness, impaired judgment, nausea or vomiting, constipation and itching.
Drowsiness, confusion, nausea and vomiting.
Dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, weight gain, sleepiness, problems urinating, and sexual problems.
Anticonvulsants and anti-seizure medications
Weight gain or weight loss, upset stomach, loss of appetite, skin rashes, drowsiness or feeling confused, and headaches.
INFLAMMATORY BACK PAIN
In cases where back pain is inflammatory, these are some of the types of medications that could be considered by your doctor.
* Note that this is not a complete list of medications, and that the medications listed below are also used to treat other conditions. If you have questions about any of the medications listed below, contact your healthcare professional.
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory)
Stomach irritation, which over time can lead to heartburn, gastritis, ulcers or bleeding.
Can include headaches, abdominal bloating, nausea and oral ulcers. In rare cases, this medication can cause bone barrow suppression.
Most common side effects are ulcers and nausea.
Long term use can result in severe side effects.
* The information provided here is not intended to take the place of your doctor's advice. All medications can cause side effects, some of which are serious.
Physical Therapy and Inflammatory Back Pain
If your back pain is inflammatory, your doctor may recommend physical therapy and exercise as a first step towards relief. He or she can direct you to resources that are experienced in treating patients with inflammatory back pain.
What can patients do to help themselves?
"Patients should know how they can help themselves; for example, knowing how to use specific back-strengthening exercises. They should also know where to find help when they need it. Finally, patients should get unbiased information about their
- Dr Maksymowych, Rheumatologist,
Is it inflammatory? Or mechanical back pain?
Knowing can make a difference.
THINGS YOU CAN DO
Medical treatment can go a long way in helping you relieve your back pain – but did you know there are other things that you can do to take the strain off your back? Here are a few tips:
Try therapies like manual therapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture, behavioural therapy, hot and cold treatments or massageLearn more >
Adjust your sleeping positionLearn more >
Stay active and keep moving – try exercises to keep your back strong and limberLearn more >
Adjust your posture or work areaLearn more >