Common Medications Can Prolong Back Pain, Study Says

A recent study suggested that two of the most common types of medicine for pain – steroids and anti-inflammatory medications, may lead to a more significant problem – chronic pain. The study does not meet the normal standard for medical research as it did not provide the medicine (with a placebo) in the usual manner, but, still, it is a good idea to be careful about relying on these medications to manage pain. A clinical trial has been suggested that would take a more hands-on approach instead of the way this study was conducted, which was to monitor and study patients instead of providing the medications.

This study takes issue with a long-standing recommendation to take an anti-inflammatory, and if that doesn’t work, then use steroids to manage the pain. The study suggests it is not a good idea to constantly suppress the inflamed areas and suggests that the pain should be healed instead.

The best treatment usually does not involve medication but does involve exercising and getting physical therapy. They are just as effective to treat pain without any of the associated risks or side-effects.

A more scientific approach was taken with mice, which provided an initial confirmation of the potential risks of reducing the inflammation with medication. Based on the signs that the mice were suffering from chronic pain following the use of medicine, further research into the effects on humans needs to be conducted. Based on randomized trials, it is possible that there has been an overreliance on treating the pain instead of treating the problem. While good for the short-term management of pain, the study may point towards a need to avoid using any of these medications for the long term.

If you are concerned about one of your current medications or if you know someone who takes these medicines, you can read the full article at Common Medications Can Prolong Back Pain, Study Says.

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