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Help! OTC Pain Relievers Aren't Helping My Pain

No one wants to live with persistent pain. If you’ve tried over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin to no avail, it’s time to dig deeper. Maybe your body has built up a tolerance, or it’s the wrong type of pain reliever for your pain or body chemistry. There can be many reasons why OTC pain relievers aren’t working for you. 

At Premier Spine Institute in The Woodlands, Humble, and Baytown, Texas, Dr. Bonaventure Ngu can help diagnose the underlying source of your pain and prescribe treatment to get you feeling better. 

Primary types of OTC pain relievers 

You’re probably familiar with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen, which serve as anti-inflammatories because they reduce levels of an enzyme that causes inflammation; pain reduction comes from the decrease in inflammation. Acetaminophen works by targeting your brain’s pain receptors. It’s also good for reducing a fever. 

Common reasons why OTC pain relievers don’t work 

If your OTC pain reliever isn’t working, you may be using the wrong pain medication for your specific issue. For example, if your pain stems from inflammation and you’re not using an anti-inflammatory like Aleve®, that could be part of the problem. 

In other cases, you can build up a tolerance to OTC pain relievers so they don’t work as well. Or, if you’re suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other issues, you may need something stronger. 

What to do to find pain relief

If your pain doesn’t respond to OTC medications, then it’s time to go deeper. Dr. Ngu conducts a thorough evaluation that may include X-rays, CT scans, and other diagnostic tests.

There can be many reasons for chronic pain. It could be that you have degenerative discs in your back. Or, you could discover you have arthritis or a sprain. Once diagnosed, there are options for stronger pain relief.

Depending on the situation, you may be a good candidate for the following treatments.

6 medically guided alternatives to OTC pain relievers

Everyone’s pain is different, which means your way of treating it will vary from other people. Yet, here are a few focused alternatives to OTC pain relievers Dr. Ngu can recommend:

  1. Corticosteroids 
  2. Antispasmodics
  3. Antidepressants 
  4. Anticonvulsants
  5. Lidocaine patches 
  6. Stem cell therapy

Dr. Ngu assesses your situation and prescribes the next logical step. For example, new research shows some antidepressants offer physical pain reduction. Likewise, anticonvulsants offer an “off-label” option for pain reduction. Stem cell therapy is a groundbreaking treatment that creates the type of cells you need to heal your body. Given the right conditions, your body is capable of healing itself. 

If OTC pain relievers aren’t helping relieve your pain, you may need a different type of treatment. Make an appointment at Premier Spine Institute in The Woodlands, Humble, and Baytown, Texas, to discover the right treatment for you. You can also ask questions or schedule your appointment here.

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