Best Bets For Back Pain
Judicious use of pain relievers can help you keep doing your usual daily activities, which aids recovery from back pain.
When your back is bothering you and you don’t want to take prescription drugs, over-the-counter solutions and physical therapies can help relieve symptoms.
At this moment, about 10% of men have a backache, and up to 90% will have a backache at some point in their lives. Most flare-ups of low back pain get better over time, often within a few weeks. Pain control is important because it allows you to stay active, which assists in your recovery. For over-the-counter pain relievers, you have two options: acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
But pain relievers are only one tool to help you recover from, and prevent, low back pain, according to Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz, professor of medicine and surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and editor of the Harvard Special Health Report Low Back Pain: Healing Your Aching Back. Dr. Katz suggests you also include these steps in your back-care plan:
Soothe with cold or heat. In the first few days, when pain is most intense and may be accompanied by inflammation, apply cold compresses for 15-minute periods. After a few days, switch to warm compresses to relax the affected muscles and enhance blood flow to the area. This simple approach can reduce reliance on pain relievers.
What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Aleve And Advil
While COX-2 enzymes are related to pain and inflammation in the body, COX-1 is involved with the lining of your stomach. This means both Aleve and Advil can cause gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Aleve poses a slightly greater risk of gastrointestinal issues, so if you are concerned about this side effect, you may want to choose Advil, or a different type of pain reliever such as acetaminophen .
Additionally, these medications can increase the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. If you have a history of cardiovascular issues, talk to your doctor before using an NSAID.
Some other potential side effects include:
- High blood pressure
- Rash, throat swelling, and other allergic reactions
Which Painkillers Can You Use If You Have Heart Or Kidney Disease
There is no simple answer. The best painkiller to use depends on your health problems. It also depends on any other drugs you take. Be sure to tell your doctor about any prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or herbal medicines you take.
Over-the-counter Tylenol is often the best choice for people with high blood pressure, heart failure, or kidney problems.
- However, high doses of Tylenol can damage the liver, so take the lowest dose you can to get enough pain relief.
- Never take more than 4,000 milligrams a day. Thats equal to twelve 325 mg pills.
If Tylenol or generic acetaminophen do not work, ask your doctor about using a stronger prescription painkiller, such as Ultram for a short time.
- If you have kidney problems, do not take more than 200 mg a day. And take it once every 12 hours to limit the risk of side effects.
- Do not use tramadol if you have epilepsy or if you take Paxil , Prozac , or Zoloft . Taking tramadol with these drugs can increase your risk of seizures.
This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
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Are Aleve And Ibuprofen The Same Thing
Naproxen and ibuprofen are both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and they work in the same way by blocking COX-2 enzymes and COX-1 enzymes. However, they have different onset times and durations. Naproxen is a long-acting drug, meaning it takes longer to start relieving your pain, but it lasts longer too. Ibuprofen is short-acting, so it starts working more quickly but needs to be taken more frequently.
What Are Common Side Effects Of Nsaids
You may have side effects if you take large doses of NSAIDs, or if you take them for a long time. Some side effects are mild and go away, while others are more serious and need medical attention. Unless your doctor tells you to do so, don’t take an over-the-counter NSAID with a prescription NSAID, multiple over-the-counter NSAIDs or more than the recommended dose of an NSAID. Doing so could increase your risk of side effects.
The side effects listed below are the most common, but there may be others. Ask your doctor if you have questions about your specific medication.
The most frequently reported side effects of NSAIDs are gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:
- Feeling very tired and weak.
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Is Naproxen Or Ibuprofen Better For Migraines
Triptan drugs like are first-choice medications to treat migraines. But people often turn to NSAID drugs for pain relief here as well. So, which is better? Researchers have actually found that using both a triptan and an NSAID is more effective for treating migraine headaches than using either type of drug alone. The best-studied combination is sumatriptan 100 mg with naproxen 500 mg, so naproxen is a good choice for migraine relief.
Nsaids Are Bad For Your Blood Pressure
NSAIDs can cause high blood pressure. And if you have high blood pressure, they can make it worse. This increases your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke.
NSAIDs can also keep some blood pressure drugs from working right. NSAIDs can interfere with:
- Diuretics, or water pills, such as Hydrodiuril . Diuretics remove excess water from the blood vessels.
- ACE inhibitors, such as Prinivil and Zestril . ACE inhibitors are drugs that relax the blood vessels.
- ARBs such as Cozaar . ARBs are another group of drugs that relax the blood vessels.
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What Are The Risks For People With High Blood Pressure
For people with high blood pressure, some types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be risky. They include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen, the active ingredients in medicines like Advil and Aleve.
Other pain relievers may be less dangerous. Aspirin is also an NSAID, but experts think that it’s safer for people with hypertension. Acetaminophen — the active ingredient in Tylenol — is a different type of painkiller that doesn’t raise blood pressure as a side effect. However, like any drug, it does have side effects of its own. You shouldn’t take any over-the-counter painkiller for more than 10 days without your health care provider’s approval.
Why are people with high blood pressure at special risk? Some of these NSAIDs reduce the blood flow to the kidneys. The kidneys — which filter your blood — work more slowly, and so fluid builds up in your body. The increased fluid drives up your blood pressure.
“When I have patients with heart disease that suddenly gets much worse,” Goldberg tells WebMD, “the first thing I ask them is if they’ve used an over-the-counter pain medicine.”
These drugs have additional risks. If you take them often enough and at a high enough dose, they can seriously damage the kidneys.
So, what’s a person with high blood pressure and a headache to do? In general, people with high blood pressure should use acetaminophen or possibly aspirin for over-the-counter pain relief.
Comparing Two Popular Nsaids Used To Treat Pain
Aleve and Advil are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to relieve pain and reduce fever. Advil is a short-acting drug, while Aleve is longer-acting. Though they are different drugs, they fall within the same drug class.
This article explores the similarities and differences between Aleve and Advil. It includes information about the products, dosage, and any side effects.
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The Main Differences Between Advil Tylenol Aleve And Aspirin Summed Up In One Chart
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How Do Pain Relief Drugs Work
In a certain way, all pain is in your head. When we feel pain, it’s the result of an electrical signal being sent from the nerves in a part of your body to your brain.
But the whole process isn’t electrical. When tissue is injured , the cells release certain chemicals in response. These chemicals cause inflammation and amplify the electrical signal coming from the nerves. As a result, they increase the pain you feel.
Painkillers work by blocking the effects of these pain chemicals. The problem is that you can’t focus most pain relievers specifically on your headache or bad back. Instead, it travels through your whole body. This can cause some unexpected side effects.
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Which Is Better For Arthritis Pain
Mobic is approved by the FDA for treating certain types of arthritis, including OA and RA. It is designed to decrease inflammation, which reduces pain, stiffness, and swelling. Mobic is also used to treat ankylosing spondylitis , a type of arthritis that mainly affects the spine.
Ibuprofen is available without a prescription, but healthcare providers can prescribe higher doses for people experiencing flare-ups from inflammatory arthritis . Healthcare providers will sometimes prescribe ibuprofen in combination with paracetamol or a compound analgesic.
While Mobic is a much stronger drug, studies on back pain show that both meloxicam and ibuprofen have similar pain reduction effects. A 2016 review of studies looked at 13 studies to determine if NSAIDs were more effective than other comparable treatments for chronic low pain, and if so, which type of NSAID was more effective.
Six of the 13 studies showed that NSAIDs were more effective than a placebo for pain intensity. NSAIDs were slightly more effective than a placebo for disability, but that effect was modest and there is little evidence to back this up. In the end, the researchers determined there were no efficacy differences between different NSAIDs.
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Which Is More Effective At Relieving Pain
Since naproxen and ibuprofen work in the same way, they are generally equally effective for relieving pain. However, the type of pain youre experiencing may help you decide which to take.
On average, Aleve lasts eight to twelve hours, while Advil lasts just four to six hours. That means that if you have chronic, long-lasting pain, Aleve is probably a more effective option for you. Advil is better for short-term pain, and its also considered safer for children.
What Kind Of Pain Reliever Is Best For Me
With so many over the counter pain relievers to choose from, sometimes it’s hard to know which is the right pain reliever for your condition. Here, Dr. Amy Shipley, MD, a family medicine doctor with Duke Primary Care Croasdaile, offers her opinion on which over-the-counter pain medication you should take when you have aches and pain, fever and inflammation.
Case Study: Relief Of Sciatica Through Upper Cervical Chiropractic
In this case study, a 45-year-old woman was experiencing a severe case of sciatica along with numerous other health problems. The full list included:
Once again, diagnostic imaging located and measured a misalignment of the atlas . Over the course of 17 months, the patient required 47 upper cervical adjustments. What were the results?
These dramatic results show the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic when it comes to severe conditions such as sciatica and other health problems. However, you may want to know a little bit more about what upper cervical chiropractic is, so lets see how this specialized form of chiropractic is likely different from anything youve ever experienced before.
Before You Take Ibuprofen Try This
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen are widely used to treat pain and dont require a prescription. But recent studies suggest that when taken regularly, these medicines can have serious side effects. Theyve been linked to kidney, bone, hearing and cardiovascular problemsincluding, most recently, an increased risk of heart attack.
For healthy people with occasional aches, theres nothing wrong with taking an Advil or an Aleve to relieve discomfort, says Dr. Jyotsna Nagda, a pain specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. But long-term use of anti-inflammatories is not a good idea, she says, especially when alternatives are available.
Plus, says Alban Latremoliere, a pain physiologist at Boston Childrens Hospital, NSAIDs dont always work wellwhich could prompt people to take higher and higher doses when they should be turning to other treatments. Instead of looking for a pill that works for every type of pain, we need to be thinking about combination approaches that treat the underlying problems, he says.
If youre concerned about the level of pain medicine youre taking, here are a few things you might try instead.
What Is Naproxen Sodium Vs Aleve What Does Naproxen Treat
Like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium is also considered a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug NSAID. Aleve is the most common brand of naproxen. Ibuprofen lasts for 12 hours, so it is the longest duration action compared with acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Naproxen can be used to treat the same symptoms as ibuprofen . However, unlike ibuprofen, there is childrens version of naproxen .
Aleve has different ingredients than ibuprofen, but is also considered a NSAID. It can be used for the same things as Advil/Motrin. However, there are no childrens Aleve, and it is recommended only for children 12 and up.
Warning: Do not take naproxen for more than 10 consecutive days for pain, or 3 days for fever unless directed so by a healthcare provider. For people with kidney problems, take naproxen with caution and consult with a healthcare provider first. Avoid using naproxen and ibuprofen if you experienced an allergic reaction to aspirin.
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How Indocin And Ibuprofen Are Different
One of the primary differences is how widely available Indocin and ibuprofen are. While anyone can purchase and take ibuprofen, your practitioner will need to write you a prescription for Indocin. Your healthcare provider may also recommend a high dose of ibuprofenmore than 400 mgwhich is available by prescription only.
Another major difference is in how often the medications have to be taken. Indocin is a long-acting medication that only needs to be taken once or twice per day. Many people like the convenience of only needing to remember one pill.
Ibuprofen, on the other hand, has to be taken three to four times per day, and your dose might involve multiple pills. However, some people like using an OTC medication to manage occasional flare-ups, without committing to taking a prescription medication daily.
While both Indocin and ibuprofen are used to treat osteoarthritisthe most common type of arthritisIndocin can also be used to treat gout, a form of arthritis characterized by acute episodes of intense swelling and pain in one or a few joints.
Other Treatments And Activities That Dont Help
Other treatment options including acupuncture, ultrasound, electrical nerve simulation, and corsets or foot orthotics are not recommended, since there is no strong evidence supporting their use.
Even if the cause of back pain is unknown, imaging is unlikely to influence management or provide meaningful information.
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Can Nsaids Cause Allergic Reactions
Rarely, an NSAID can cause a generalized allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock. If this happens, it usually occurs soon after the person starts taking the NSAID. The symptoms of this reaction include:
- Swollen eyes, lips or tongue.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Rapid heart rate.
- Chest pain or tightness.
If any of these symptoms occur, call 9-1-1 or have someone drive you to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Remember, before any medication is prescribed, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to any medications, foods or other substances.
- If you currently take any other medications and/or herbal or dietary supplements.
- If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
- If you have problems taking any medications.
- If you have anemia, kidney or liver disease, stomach or peptic ulcers, heart disease, high blood pressure, bleeding or clotting problems, asthma or growth in the nose .
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/25/2020.
New Study Shows Popular Pain Relievers May Pose Risk
A new study comparing three popular arthritis drugs shows theyre all about equally safe — and equally dangerous for the heart.
Its good news for people who have to take pills every day for chronic pain, but the drugs are not completely safe. Ibuprofen, naproxen and the prescription drug celecoxib all can cause heart problems, especially when taken long term in high doses.
The findings only apply to people taking high doses over time they do not apply to people who take ibuprofen or naproxen for fevers, headache or the occasional aches and pains. But even occasional use should be limited, experts say.
My advice to the public is to take the lowest dose you can for the shortest period you can, said Dr. Steve Nissen, the heart expert at the Cleveland Clinic who ran the study.
The study was started because of a scandal going back to 2004, when the new arthritis drug Vioxx was pulled from the market when it was shown to cause heart attacks and other heart deaths.
It was a shocker because Vioxx, approved in 1999, was designed to be a more refined version of the drugs in the same class as aspirin and ibuprofen, which both can cause dangerous stomach bleeding.
Since then there has been a bit of suspicion surrounding other so-called COX-2 inhibitors, including celecoxib, sold generically and under the brand name Celebrex.
We gave everybody a drug to protect the stomach and it happened anyway.”
Its not completely clear why the drugs affect heart attack and stroke rates.
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