Common Painkillers Don’t Relieve Back Pain; May Make You Worse

According to, new research on common painkillers used for back pain shows that these drugs may be more harmful than helpful. In fact, only 1 in 6 people studies actually experienced significant pain relief from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin and ibuprophen.

Low back pain is the most commonly reported pain and leading cause of disability in America, and estimates suggest that approximately 80 percent of adults will suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives. Worse, chronic back pain is a major driver of painkiller addiction, particularly to narcotics.

So, if NSAIDS don’t work, and long-term narcotics aren’t good for you, what can you do? First, it’s important to know that your lower back doesn’t function independently from the rest of your core. This means you need strong abdominal muscles to support your lower back, and flexible muscles to reduce the potential for strains and sprains.

You most likely also need to address your lifestyle: One common denominator among most back pain patients is that they have a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, learning to slowly add strength training, stretching, movement and standing activities to your everyday life is essential to addressing and reducing back pain.

I especially advocate standing as much as possible, even if you have a sedentary job. You can do this by investing in a standing desk, or simply moving your computer to your kitchen bar and working from there. This will help with a number of orthopedic problems, including neck and back, TMJ, carpal tunnel and knee problems.
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