Pain Management Specialist Questions Back Pain

What is causing my chronic back pain?

I don't know what causes my back pain. It's not very severe but it's always there. Is is okay to take something like ibuprofen regularly?

10 Answers

No. Regular intake of medications can ruin your liver and kidneys. It's best to see a physical therapist for proper education on how to take care of yourself regarding your back pain.
An exam by a reputable rheumatologist would be appropriate.
Only with food and you should get over the counter Prilosec to protect your stomach if you are planning on using it for more than 14 days.
There many causes of back pain. They range from degenerative disc disease to joint arthritis. The best way to diagnose it is to see your local Pain Medicine physician and he will likely order an MRI to help him assess the issue. Ibuprofen is a good anti-inflammatory, but when taken on a long-term basis has its own risks, particularly to the kidneys, stomach and heart. So it should be used sparingly, and when needed. Hope this helps.

Have you been evaluated by a skilled physical therapist specializing in orthopedics or spinal conditions? Many things could be causing your back pain. With regards to information on medicines, I legally cannot provide that advice. That would be a great question for your primary care physician. Generally, long term NSAID use is not recommended per what most of my patient’s physicians state.
The answered is NO. There are multiple studies relating all these NSAID'S with Cardiac infarcts, Renal insufficiency, and Gastrointestinal irritation to name a few of the adverse effects.
Should consider work up for lumbar pain lasting more than three months.

A number of areas like disc, joints, ligaments can cause back pain. try core strengthening exercises, stretching, heat/cold, and regular ibuprofen (after meals and if you don't have contra indications).
The cause of your back pain is best determined by the exact symptoms in particular what makes it better or worse what time of day is it worse, do activities make it worse, is it worse with movement ?etc. Long term use of NSAIDS like ibuprofen can lead to a decrease in kidney and liver function. Best to live an anti-inflammatory diet and take herbal anti inflammatory medication as needed,e.g.; boswellia, tumaric, Traumeel or try 3grams of high quality fish oil daily.
I would have to perform a thorough evaluation of your symptoms, imaging and physical exam. Are you in anchorage or a nearby city? If so, please call 770-1152 and ask for Parker to make an appointment. Taking ibuprofen especially over a long period can be harmful.

Nichelle Cook Renk, M.D.
This varies from person to person. For medication questions I always defer patients to their primary care physician who has a better understanding of your medical conditions and other meds you may take.