5 doctors weighed in:

How long should an nsaid be taken to treat chronic backpain? I have a degenerative L4 and herniated l5. Have already done several rounds of physical therapy. The orthopedic surgeon does not recommend back surgery at this time simple because of my age 29.

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Neil Ellis
Anesthesiology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

The nature of your back pain would help determine the type of medication you should try.
If your herniated disc is impinging on the nerve and you are having electric, burning, shooting "nerve" pain then you should try an neuropathic agent like gabapentin/lyrica. If is due joint issues related to the degeneration- nsaids are a good choice. Try naproxen. See an interventional pain physician.

In brief: Depends

The nature of your back pain would help determine the type of medication you should try.
If your herniated disc is impinging on the nerve and you are having electric, burning, shooting "nerve" pain then you should try an neuropathic agent like gabapentin/lyrica. If is due joint issues related to the degeneration- nsaids are a good choice. Try naproxen. See an interventional pain physician.
Dr. Neil Ellis
Dr. Neil Ellis
Thank
Dr. Peter Ihle
Orthopedic Surgery

In brief: Rule of thumb is. ..

..2 give an NSAID a good trial, whatever ur md recs, ; take it on a regular basis 4, 5-7 days 2 give it time 2 build up a blood level.
If by that time it is of no help try another 1.Not all work the same 4 everyone, ; oftentimes it is hit ; miss until u arrive @ 1 that works 4 u.If u don't take it regularly u will never kno if it will help. There r many . Get rx from md as otc r under dosed.

In brief: Rule of thumb is. ..

..2 give an NSAID a good trial, whatever ur md recs, ; take it on a regular basis 4, 5-7 days 2 give it time 2 build up a blood level.
If by that time it is of no help try another 1.Not all work the same 4 everyone, ; oftentimes it is hit ; miss until u arrive @ 1 that works 4 u.If u don't take it regularly u will never kno if it will help. There r many . Get rx from md as otc r under dosed.
Dr. Peter Ihle
Dr. Peter Ihle
Thank
Dr. Carl Spivak
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine

In brief: The

The spine is made up of vertebrae (bones) which are separeted by disks.
Disks act as shock absorbers between the lumbar vertebrae. Overtime due to aging, injury and genetics the disks dry out and breakdown. This is called degenerative disk disease. If the outer shell of the disk (annulus fibrosis) weakens or ruptures (breaks) the inside of the disk (nucleus pulposus) can ooze out and pinch a nerve causing back and leg pain (sciatica). This is called a disk herniation. Most cases of sciatica will resolve in 2 to 3 months. The usual treatment is short term nsaids (for a couple weeks), physical therapy, steroid injections and surgery. I usually do not recommend long term NSAID treatment for back pain or sciatica due to the risks of stomach ulcers, kidney and heart problems, but not limited to these problems. I find they work best for short term use (1 to 2 weeks) during a bad flare-up of the pain. If the NSAID does not help the pain then i recommend stopping it. I would discuss your particular NSAID usage with your doctor. If people are still having problems after multiple rounds of physical therapy and do not get much relief i recommend stopping the physical therapy. If you have fail conservative treatment, you may be a good candidate for spinal steroid injections. They can provide short term or long term relief. Since most people will improve over 2 to 3 months they can get you "over the hump" until the body naturally heals itself. Patients who fail all the above treatments, have severe pain and disability and/or neurologcial dysfunction may consider surgery. Back surgery should be viewed as the last resort in most circumstances. It is best not to rush into it, but some times it is necessary. Age is a consideration, but it is not the only consideration when deciding on surgery. Today back surgery for disk herniations is much different then it was 20 years ago. In the past most back surgeries were done open requiring a large skin incision, large muscle retraction, bone removal and nerve retraction. Today lumbar disk herniations can be removed endoscopically (sometimes referred as laser) through a small 7 mm tube with a micro camera and instruments. The advantagaes of endoscopic surgery are no general anesthesia, very small skin incision, minimal muscle and bone damage, less postoperative pain and shorter recovery.

In brief: The

The spine is made up of vertebrae (bones) which are separeted by disks.
Disks act as shock absorbers between the lumbar vertebrae. Overtime due to aging, injury and genetics the disks dry out and breakdown. This is called degenerative disk disease. If the outer shell of the disk (annulus fibrosis) weakens or ruptures (breaks) the inside of the disk (nucleus pulposus) can ooze out and pinch a nerve causing back and leg pain (sciatica). This is called a disk herniation. Most cases of sciatica will resolve in 2 to 3 months. The usual treatment is short term nsaids (for a couple weeks), physical therapy, steroid injections and surgery. I usually do not recommend long term NSAID treatment for back pain or sciatica due to the risks of stomach ulcers, kidney and heart problems, but not limited to these problems. I find they work best for short term use (1 to 2 weeks) during a bad flare-up of the pain. If the NSAID does not help the pain then i recommend stopping it. I would discuss your particular NSAID usage with your doctor. If people are still having problems after multiple rounds of physical therapy and do not get much relief i recommend stopping the physical therapy. If you have fail conservative treatment, you may be a good candidate for spinal steroid injections. They can provide short term or long term relief. Since most people will improve over 2 to 3 months they can get you "over the hump" until the body naturally heals itself. Patients who fail all the above treatments, have severe pain and disability and/or neurologcial dysfunction may consider surgery. Back surgery should be viewed as the last resort in most circumstances. It is best not to rush into it, but some times it is necessary. Age is a consideration, but it is not the only consideration when deciding on surgery. Today back surgery for disk herniations is much different then it was 20 years ago. In the past most back surgeries were done open requiring a large skin incision, large muscle retraction, bone removal and nerve retraction. Today lumbar disk herniations can be removed endoscopically (sometimes referred as laser) through a small 7 mm tube with a micro camera and instruments. The advantagaes of endoscopic surgery are no general anesthesia, very small skin incision, minimal muscle and bone damage, less postoperative pain and shorter recovery.
Dr. Carl Spivak
Dr. Carl Spivak
Thank
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