Green stuff or chemistry – you have the choice: Against back pain all kinds of medicines are offered, for swallowing, applying cream or in a plaster pack. But not every remedy is suitable.
Even if it hurts like hell – back pain is usually not a burden that you have to carry around until the end of your life. Because in four out of five cases the pulling in the back subsides by itself. Only if you crawl into bed permanently to spare the painful hump could your pain become independent – and make life difficult for you in the long run.
That is why moving is better. So that you do not torture yourself, you can alleviate the pain with pills, blood circulation-promoting plasters or anaesthetic balms. Experts recommend taking painkillers early and sufficiently, preferably in the form of tablets or suppositories for the night. In addition, you should also take physiotherapy, strength training or gentle exercise therapy. In this way you can break the vicious circle of pain and tension.
For mild complaints, over-the-counter painkillers are the best. What you take is up to you, you know best what you tolerate well and what helps you: whether paracetamol, acetyl salicyl acid (ASS), ibuprofen, diclofenac or naproxen. All these substances work according to the same principle: they inhibit certain endogenous substances, the prostaglandins. These hormones teem with inflammations and strains in the tissue and irritate the nerves in such a way that they send pain signals to the brain. If the prostaglandins are blocked, less pain impulses arise.
Pain killers can make you addicted
Other drugs cut off pain conduction only in the brain, including opiates such as morphine. Also antidepressants (antidepressants) or muscle relaxants can change the sensation of pain. However, these substances can have considerable side effects because they interfere with the brain metabolism.
Whatever you take, you should stop after three days. If the cross still does not leave you calm, you better go to the doctor. Because you can become dependent on any painkillers in the long run, including ASA. As a rule of thumb, take tablets no more than ten days a month. Otherwise you may experience medication-related headaches. This withdrawal headache may also occur if you stop taking ASA or paracetamol.
Too many painkillers can also damage your kidneys in the long run. However, some medicines can make you want to take them too often and too long because they have a pleasant effect. For example, because caffeine is added. It is therefore better to keep your hands off such combination preparations. They are no better tolerated and no more effective than a tablet containing only one active ingredient.
Paracetamol is the most popular painkiller for mild to moderate back pain. However, experts recommend not swallowing more than three to four tablets per 500 milligrams per day. Taken in rough quantities, the active ingredient can ruin your liver. You can get small quantities in pharmacies without a prescription; packs containing more than ten grams of active substance are available only on prescription.
Paracetamol prevents the nerves from transmitting pain signals from the back to the brain. However, the active ingredient does not make the blood thinner – like ASA – nor does it reduce inflammation. If you swallow paracetamol as a tablet, you will feel the maximum effect after thirty to sixty minutes. In suppository form, the substance unfolds its power after three to four hours.
The active ingredient is considered to be one of the safest pain killers. Pregnant women and children can also take it. If you have liver or kidney disease or Gilbert-Meulengracht syndrome – a rare form of jaundice – you should take a smaller dose than usual. Or wait a little longer until you swallow the next tablet.
Risks and side effects
With all the praise for paracetamol – don’t be frivolous about it! Otherwise the substance can destroy your liver. For example, if you take ten to twelve grams at once as an adult. Or if you swallow more than seven and a half grams of paracetamol every day for a longer period of time. If a lot of alcohol is added, less than ten to twelve grams are enough to destroy your liver.
Lower limits apply to children; 140 milligrams per kilogram of body weight have a harmful effect on the liver. For some time now, experts have been discussing whether paracetamol may damage the heart and veins.
Acetylsalicylic Acid (ASA)
Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is the classic painkiller. Acetylsalicylic acid relieves pain, soothes inflammation and lowers fever. It also prevents platelets from sticking together. For example, ASA – in very small quantities – helps to prevent circulatory disorders, heart attacks and strokes.
The substance blocks the production of prostaglandins in tissue for a short time. These hormones are produced by the body when a spot is inflamed or injured. Unfortunately, prostaglandins also irritate the exposed nerve endings in tissue. The nerves are thus activated and transmit a pain impulse to the brain. If there are fewer prostaglandins in the tissue, we also feel less pain. ASS therefore relieves acute pain in the short term.