BACK PAIN 

Non-drug Options:

  • Staying physically active is the single most important thing you can do to treat back pain.
  • Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage, Pilates and Yoga might also help some people.

Drug Options:

  • Try this first – Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprophen or naproxen for pain relief.
  • If that doesn’t work -Talk to your doctor about a muscle relaxant. Skip opiods, they don’t work any better and risks are high.

HEADACHES

Non-drug Options:

  • Cut back on foods, caffeine, alcohol that set them off.
  • Exercise, control stress with meditation and other relaxation therapies work well.
  • Avoid overusing OTC drugs -these can cause rebound headaches.

Drug Options:

  • Try this first – Acetaminophen in appropriate doses. Ibuprofen and naproxen are OK too, if you don’t use them too often.
  • If that doesn’t work – You may have a migraine. If it is MILD, consider a product with a combo of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine.
  • If it is SEVERE or persistent, talk to your doctor about a drug called a triptan (i.e. sumatriptan). But use cautiously, they increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

 JOINT PAIN

Non-drug Options:

  • Regular low-impact exercise like walking or yoga, and stretching are best!

Drug Options:

  • Try this first – Ibuprofen and naproxen work better than acetaminophen because they ease inflammation. Limit their use though -taking them long term can cause serious stomach and bleeding problems.
  • If that doesn’t work – Ask your doctor about a higher dose prescription strength ibuprofen.

SORE MUSCLES:

Non-drug Options:

  • Apply ice asap for up to 20min, 3-4xday after acute injury. This will reduce blood flow, swelling, and inflammation.
  • Also, rest and elevate the area. After 24-48hours, switch to heat to relax the muscles and improve circulation.

Drug Options:

  • Try this first – Ibuprofen and naproxen help tame inflammation.
  • If that doesn’t work – Try OTC pain-relief creams with menthol (Biofreeze), capsaicin, or methyl salicylate.
  • Never combine with heating pads!