Which medications are used in the treatment of mechanical low back pain?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Everett C Hills, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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  • The most commonly prescribed medications for mechanical low back pain (LBP) are NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, opioid and nonopioid analgesics, and antidepressants.

    • NSAIDs provide satisfactory analgesic relief for most cases of mechanical LBP. NSAIDs are very easy to obtain in prescribed formulations and as over-the-counter preparations.

    • Muscle relaxants, in combination with the NSAIDs, may provide symptomatic relief to the low back musculature and promote more freedom of movement.

    • Opioid medications generally are not used as first-line treatments for mechanical LBP.

    • Nonopioid medications are being combined with NSAIDs to achieve adequate pain relief without the adverse effects of opioid medications.

    • Antidepressants are helpful adjuncts to the bio-psycho-social effects of chronic LBP.

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