According to the NHS, lower back pain is the leading cause of disability within the UK, accounting for 11% of the total disability in the population. However, despite how common and debilitating the condition is, there has been limited research into how it can be best managed.
Now, thanks to a new study, the best medications for lower back pain have been revealed. Here, we look at what the study found and other treatment options available to help alleviate the pain.
What are the best medications for lower back pain?
The latest study, published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, identified the most effective analgesics for lower back pain that lasts less than 12 weeks. An analysis of 18 randomised clinical trials was conducted, examining the efficiency of three types of pain relievers – acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and aspirin. NSAIDs are a common type of pain relief that includes drugs like ibuprofen, celecoxib, and naproxen.
Researchers also looked at the benefits of muscle relaxers. Unlike aspirin and acetaminophen which can be purchased over the counter, these require a prescription.
The most effective medication for acute lower back pain was found to be a mixture of NSAIDs and a muscle relaxer. This combination demonstrated the greatest effectiveness in reducing pain and disability within one week of treatment.
It’s important to note that the study’s findings only apply to acute lower back pain and not chronic pain. The ongoing use of pain medications can cause potentially serious side effects so this needs to be addressed when looking at the best course of treatment.
The dangers of pain medication
While pain medications are the most common treatment for acute lower back pain, they can cause a range of nasty side effects.
NSAIDs for example, have several potential side effects including diarrhoea, indigestion, dizziness, allergic reactions, and headaches. In rare cases, long-term use of NSAIDs can also lead to problems with the heart, kidneys, liver, and circulation. The UK National Health Service also notes that using NSAIDs for an extended period may lead to stomach ulcers, which can cause anaemia and internal bleeding.
Alternative treatment options for lower back pain
Those looking to avoid the potentially dangerous side effects of medication should consider alternative treatment options such as Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MBST).
MBST is a non-invasive and painless treatment that uses a low-frequency magnetic field to stimulate and regenerate damaged cells within the body. The treatment is customised to each patient and can be targeted to specific areas of the body, such as the back.
This innovative therapy has shown promising results in treating various types of back pain, including degenerative disc disease, facet joint pain, and herniated discs. It is particularly useful for patients who have not responded well to other treatment options such as physical therapy, medication, or surgery.
MBST is non-invasive, painless, and has no known side effects, making it a safe and effective treatment option for many patients. To learn more about this effective treatment option for lower back pain and determine if you are an ideal candidate, book an appointment with MBST London today.