Drug Therapy for Spine Conditions

A number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs help relieve the pain, swelling and other symptoms that come with some spine conditions or disorders.

Careful management of pain is important for recovery from a spinal disorder or surgery. Severe pain or pain that does not go away can lead to depression, difficulty sleeping and difficulty exercising and stretching. All of these conditions can slow healing and prolong a painful condition.

You should always consult with your doctor about the best ways to deal with any pain you have. Be careful about taking drugs you have not taken before, especially if you are taking drugs for other conditions (such as heart disease or diabetes). Be sure to tell your doctor all drugs that you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Also be sure to take any drugs your doctor prescribes the way that he or she instructs you and for as long as you are asked to take them.

Avoid drinking alcohol. While it may relax muscles, it is not a pain reliever. Many doctors believe alcohol may cause more problems than it solves. Alcohol is a major depressant and can be habit-forming. In addition, it can have serious side effects with drugs that may be prescribed to you to relieve pain.

The information provided below about each category of drugs is general in nature. It does not cover all the possible drugs that could be given for spinal disorders, nor does it describe all the possible uses, side effects, interactions with other drugs or vitamins and herbal supplements. Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist for full information about the drugs that are prescribed. This information should not be used as medical advice for individual health problems.

If your doctor thinks that a drug therapy program can benefit you, he or she will develop a program that is specific to your condition, age, general health and other drugs you may be taking. Drugs should be taken as prescribed. Tell your doctor all drugs and supplements are taking and any side effects you may have.

Below is an overview of the main categories of drugs that may be recommended for orthopedic conditions: