OPIOID PAIN MEDICATION FOR THE SPINE; INFORMATION AND PRECAUTIONS
For many patients with chronic back pain, over-the-counter pain medication will be enough to mediate their pain levels and restore enough mobility for them to go about their daily lives. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen help to reduce inflammation in the body, often easing nerve-related pain by reducing inflammation at the site of the compressed spinal nerves. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication is generally powerful enough to help patients with torn muscles, herniated spinal discs (the shock-absorbing pads between our vertebrae) and other mild-to-moderate structural problems within the spine.
Occasionally, a patient’s back pain is severe enough to warrant other solutions. Physicians typically advocate more conservative treatments, such as a physical therapy regimen designed to develop muscles along the spinal column and in the torso. Core-strengthening exercises allow muscles to relieve spinal discs, facet joints (the joints that link our vertebrae), and ligaments of some of the stresses of everyday movement. A strong torso through physical therapy can usually improve a patient’s mobility significantly if supplemented with over-the-counter pain medication to mediate acute pain levels during the course of treatment.
Physical therapy may not always be enough to correct the structural problems within the spine, however. Compromised spinal discs can lead to nerve damage over time, due to nearby spinal nerves bearing a higher risk for compression from everyday movement. Damaged or degenerated spinal discs are often thinner, harder, and less capable of bearing shock than normal discs. As such, physicians may be required to advocate back surgery as a possible solution to maintaining a patient’s long-term health. In the case of compromised spinal discs, sometimes a spinal fusion procedure is necessary to fuse vertebrae and stabilize the spinal column against future
In the first few weeks (or even months) of post-operative care, back surgery patients can expect elevated pain levels as their bodies attempt to heal and adjust to a new lifestyle. During this period, doctors may prescribe opioid pain medication (also known as narcotic pain medication) to help patients go about their daily lives without excessive back pain.
Some common narcotic pain medicines are
- Fentanyl (Duragesic) — available as a patch
- Hydrocodone ( Vicodin) (Norco)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- Meperidine (Demerol)
- Morphine (MS Contin)
- Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet, Percodan)
- Tramadol (Ultram)
Essentially, these medications work by reducing the number of pain signals sent to the brain, allowing back pain patients to re-gain mobility even in the face of high pain levels. Unfortunately, many types of opioid pain medication are addictive and can inhibit endorphin (the body’s natural painkillers) production if used over the long-term. Back pain patients utilizing opioid pain medication should see their physicians frequently to minimize the risk for addiction and long-term complications.
Physician experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston, TX, have significant experience in diagnosing and treating spinal facet joint pain. The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX cares for patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.
Patients suffering from neck pain or lower back pain, or who have been told they may require a spine surgery, can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at
……. Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE
Keywords: back pain, opioid pain medication, pain levels, physical therapy, Houston, Baytown, Conroe, Galleria, Beaumont, Galleria, Galveston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial City, Woodlands, Sugarland