How using anti-Inflammatory drugs may prolong back pain

How using anti-Inflammatory drugs may prolong back pain
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Published Charlie K ⋅ Review Editor
July 15, 2022

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The pain that comes from a back injury can be severe and debilitating. While anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve some initial distress caused by an injury or surgery, they may sometimes prolong recovery time due to their potential side effects. However, if you have been prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs after your injury, you may consider other treatment options. Let’s take a moment to explore precisely how using anti-inflammatory drugs may prolong back pain and what else you can do instead to get better faster!

What are anti-inflammatory drugs, and how do they work

Anti-inflammatory drugs are medications that reduce inflammation. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as prednisone. They suppress the immune system’s inflammatory response to injury or infection. The inflammatory response is critical for healing wounds, but chronic inflammation can lead to diseases like arthritis and heart disease if not appropriately controlled.

The two types of painkillers we’re focusing on here are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids (not those you inject into your muscles). These drugs work in different ways, but they suppress the immune system’s inflammatory response, reducing pain by decreasing swelling and pressure on nerves near spinal discs in the back.

While these drugs may offer some relief in the short term, they can have the opposite effect in the long run. Studies have shown that using NSAIDs or steroids after a back injury can delay healing and increase the risk of future injuries.

How can anti-inflammatory drugs prolong back pain

While anti-inflammatory drugs can provide some pain relief, they do not address the underlying cause of your back pain. Instead, anti-inflammatory drugs work by reducing inflammation and swelling in your body. This may help to relieve your symptoms in the short term, but it will not treat their root cause and will often result in more significant long-term effects. Using anti-inflammatory drugs after a back injury can delay healing and increase your risk of future injuries. This is because anti-inflammatory medications can interact with the healing process by:

  • Suppressing your immune system’s response to injury
  • Interfering with the production of collagen, which is essential for wound healing
  • Decreasing blood flow to your injured area can delay healing
  • Reducing your body’s ability to repair damaged tissue

These effects can lead to a longer recovery time and a greater risk of re-injury.

What are the risks associated with using anti-inflammatory drugs

In addition to prolonging back pain and delaying healing, anti-inflammatory drugs can also increase your risk of developing other serious health problems. Some of the most common risks associated with anti-inflammatory drugs include the following:

  • Gastrointestinal problems: Anti-inflammatory drugs can cause stomach ulcers, bleeding, and perforation.
  • Kidney damage: Anti-inflammatory drugs can lead to kidney problems, such as kidney failure.
  • Heart problems: Anti-inflammatory drugs can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Liver damage: Anti-inflammatory drugs can cause liver damage.
  • Fluid retention: Anti-inflammatory drugs can cause fluid retention, leading to high blood pressure and other health problems.

As you can see, several risks are associated with using anti-inflammatory drugs. Therefore, considering these drugs, you must speak with your doctor about the potential risks and benefits.

What are some alternative treatments for back pain

You may have considered using anti-inflammatory drugs if you suffer from chronic back pain. But there are plenty of other options; many are safer, more effective, and less expensive than over-the-counter medications. Alternative treatments for back pain include exercise and stretching, spinal manipulation by a chiropractor or physical therapist, acupuncture, massage therapy (with or without heat), heat packs on painful areas like the lower back (a heating pad set on low can be helpful here), cold packs on specific muscles to reduce inflammation—and yes—resting your body!

Many people find that sleeping upright in bed at night helps control their pain levels while they’re getting enough restful sleep so that they wake up feeling refreshed each morning instead of exhausted by the lack thereof due to tossing around all night long due to discomfort caused by inflamed muscles around the spine which leads us into…

How can you prevent back pain from occurring in the first place

  • Use lumbar support – If you spend a lot of time sitting in front of your computer, it pays to invest in a good ergonomic chair and ergonomic accessories, like adjustable lumbar support.
  • Support your back with pillows – When you sleep on your side, place one pillow between your knees and another beneath the small of your back for additional support.
  • Keep moving – Sitting for long periods can cause stiff muscles and poor circulation, leading to back pain. Instead, try taking frequent breaks from sitting at work or home (you don’t have to stand up all day), frequently walking throughout the day (even if it’s just around the office), and doing exercises such as squats or lunges regularly until they become second nature (and not just when something hurts).

Don’t forget the importance of a great mattress!

Your back pain might be coming from your bed! An old, saggy mattress can cause misalignment in your spine and pressure your muscles and joints. If you think your mattress might be the problem, try sleeping on a friend’s or family member’s bed for a few nights to see if there’s a difference. If there is, it might be time for you to invest in a new mattress of your own!

Final Thoughts

If you suffer from back pain, it’s essential to understand that there are a variety of potential causes and treatments. While anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve pain in the short term, they can also cause serious side effects. Many alternative treatments for back pain are safer and more effective, so be sure to speak with your doctor about your options before choosing a treatment plan. To prevent back pain from occurring in the first place, try to maintain good posture, take frequent breaks from sitting, and exercise regularly. You should also invest in a good ergonomic chair and mattress to support your back and keep it healthy.

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