Medication Management

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When you’re experiencing chronic back pain, your day-to-day routine is often completely upended. It may be difficult to even get out of bed and move around the house, never mind go to work. The first goal of the DOCC Project is to improve your ability to function, which is usually followed by pain relief. Taking medication, often on a short-term basis helps you to become more functional so that you can fully engage in your care. Here, we will discussion some of the common types of medication taken by those experiencing chronic pain: for pain, anxiety, depression, and muscle spasms.

As with sleep medication, work with your doctor to find the right pain medication for you. Speak in a direct way with him/her to find out the goal of each medication and its potential side effects. Your physician may prescribe multiple medications over time, but this is generally a bad idea–if you do so, you run the risk of experiencing varying side effects and decreasing the quality of your life. It’s not uncommon for medications to be prescribed to treat the side effects of other medications. It’s important to take responsibility in trying to minimize your medications. Physicians are often too busy and may not take the time to really sort out the implications of too many medications.

I’ve included a general overview of the different types of medication here, so you can have an informed conversation with your doctor. Medications are useful in the following areas:

  • Narcotics
  • Non-narcotics
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-seizure