Common NSAID Pain Killers and What They are Used For

Source: Spine Health

Around 30 million people around the world take NSAIDs on a regular basis. NSAIDs are versatile medicines that are available over the counter. You can also get these NSAIDs in the form of prescriptions. The term is short for Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.

These can treat inflammation and pain, both. Since inflammation is a primary factor for a majority of the back pain conditions, lowering inflammation is vital for relieving the pain. NSAID stands for Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory medicine. 

What they are used for?

NSAIDs not only function as painkillers for treating back pain. They can be used for treating other problems as well. These include:

  • Mild back pain or moderate pain in the back
  • Inflammation, stiffness, and tenderness in the back
  • Pain or discomfort related to activities. For example, pain that is a result of sports or activities like shoveling snow or housework. 
  • Pain that is related to muscle strain in the lower back and other parts
  • Neck stiffness because of damaged or strained muscles, tendons, and ligaments
  • Joint pain because of osteoarthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Other kinds of pain because of arthritis

Common types of NSAIDs

NSAIDs are comprised of a vast class of drugs. These medicines work by hampering certain body substances which are known as prostaglandins. This prostaglandin is responsible for triggering the feeling of pain in the body. Thus, NSAIDs are said to have pain-relieving, fever-reducing, and anti-inflammatory properties.

NSAIDs are divided into two categories, prescription, and non-prescription. Non-prescription NSAIDs are those that can be purchased over the counter as well. There are four common types of NSAIDs that are used to treat a variety of neck and back pain. These four include: 

  • Aspirin – common brand names include Bufferin, St. Joseph, Bayer, and Ecotrin.
  • Ibuprofen – this includes Motrin and Advil
  • Naproxen – this consists of Naprosyn, Aleve, and Anaprox DS
  • Celecoxib including Celebrex