Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"what are some nonsugical optins for pain relief for a herniated disc that does not include narcotics?"
I have an injury that occurred in 1997 and am still plagued by pain in my lower back that flairs up so badly that I cannot move. I have taken various narcotics over the years for pain relief, and I am afraid of addiction and do not like how they make me feel. I have had steriod and encet shots but these have only granted temporary relief.
Long standing (chronic) low back pain is a horrible problem that so many people today face. The best treatment mode for low back pain depends on its cause. In cases of spinal stenosis or a pinched nerve, a surgical intervention can be tried. In the vast majority of case, patients with low back pain are not helped that much by surgery. If you have the very common degenerative disc disease, or a herniated disc, or pain without a known cause, then you will likely respond best to a combination of physical therapy and non-narcotic medications. Medications that can be used include anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and naproxen or medications such as Neurontin. The anti-inflammatory medications are not appropriate for everyone. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she should evaluate which studies have been done on your back, and which treatments have been tried. If there is imaging (MRI for example) that has not been done, then it should be considered. This depends on your exact symptoms. If there are treatments that have not been tried, then you can try them. Depending on your situation, you may warrant referral to either an orthopedic surgeon or a rheumatologist. Good luck.
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