A lot of people suffer with ongoing back pain and spine conditions, and unfortunately there are few treatments available. The chronic condition can negatively impact day to day life, so finding something to ease the symptoms is important. However, studies show that the majority of pain medications don’t actually relieve back pain, and they certainly don’t combat the cause of the discomfort.
There are many different remedies available which claim to relieve back pain or make it coming back altogether, but usually there is no proof for this. Prescribed medication, if it has any effect at all, only masks the pain for a short while and natural remedies aren’t recommended by medical professionals. Here are some medication myths for back pain and a list of remedies you shouldn’t waste your time on.
You can buy painkillers over the counter and it is usually the first go-to medication for any kind of pain relief. Headaches, toothache, and muscle sprains can be relieved with paracetamol but back ache is slightly different. The acute pain is usually caused by inflammation, which means paracetamol has no effect whatsoever.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are also available without prescription and are often recommended for back pain. However, taking this medication on a regular basis has serious side effects, and lifestyle factors can be much more effective than taking a pill. Recent studies show that depending on what is causing the back pain, NSAIDs don’t work for everyone and provide little relief for the majority of back pain sufferers.
It’s an old wives tale that bed rest can cure anything! In the case of back pain, the opposite is true. Pain in the back doesn’t necessarily indicate any damage such as a pulled muscle, so there is no need to limit movement in the back. Exercise is one of the most accepted treatments for back pain, and sitting or lying for long periods of time can actually make the pain worse.
When drugs don’t work, the herbal supplements sector goes into overdrive, claiming to cure the ailment. The main ones recommended for back pain are bromelain, which has an anti-inflammatory effect, and Devil’s Claw which can reduce arthritis-related pain. Supplements alone will not cure back pain and you should always consult your GP before taking them.
Because back pain is so common and there is no definite cure, there are lots of myths about treatment. Everyone is different so you should explore different back pain treatment options and mobility exercises to see what works for you.