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Painkillers and a bad back

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flipnflap | 09:47 Fri 18th May 2012 | Body & Soul
11 Answers
A male friend has had a bad back for too long now. Tried osteopathy and chiropractic, to no avail. Has now decided to go down the GP route. GP put him on painkillers, but he won't take medicine as even painkillers make him feel ill - says he'd rather have a bad back than a hadache and nausea, not to mention the other potential side effects. He also argues that, even if painkillers work, they're surely simply papering over the problem and, if he goes for physio or whatever, he needs to be able to guide the therapist as to whether his condition has improved or not with treatments. More importantly, if he ever comes off the painkillers (which he'd want to do ASAP), surely the back-pain will only return...and he certainly doesn't want spend the rest of his days dependent on painkillers. Any comments or suggestions?


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If the pain is due to inflammation then anti inflammatory pain killers may solve the problem
Why go to GP if not willing to take advice! How does he know he will suffer these effects unless he tries them?
If he is that determined not to do what the GP has said he could pay for a MRI which may give a definitive answer.
Bad back? That is not a diagnosis.

He would rather have a bad back than suffer the side effects of analgesics.

Osteopathy an chiropractic measures haven't worked.

What does he do now depends upon the diagnosis.
Why on earth didn't he go see his GP first so a diagnosis of the problem could be made and then a suitable treatment discussed?
It depends on the cause. I have osteoarthritis of the spine and hips and last year I went for physio at local hospital and they suggested a course of hydrotherapy exercise in their warm pool. It did help. With regards to painkillers I take paracetamol as and when needed which helps but am also prescribed tramadol. Due to the side affects I only take these though when absolutely necessary and is usually at night due to poor sleep caused by pain.
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He did literally take one of the Naproxen he was prescribed, and says it made him feel so weird over a period of more than 24 hours that he refuses to take any more. Can't the doctor arrange a scan on the NHS?
Yes, his GP can arrange a scan
Most importantly the GP will examine him and try to determine the diagnosis.
S/he will then arrange any investigations eg X-ray or scan, or even referral to hospital to whichever dept s/he thinks appropriate.
Most likely outcome, though, will be referral to physio and an offer of painkillers.
It's then up to your friend what he does.
Suffer, or take up helpful suggestions.
I suffer from back pains for 30 years.Five car accidents! Tried EVERYTHING!
From aggressive treatments to alternative ones.
First of all listen to your body , you know what is best for you.
A suggest only what worked and still helps me:
I swim as often as possible and make aqua-therapy, acupuncture ,shiatsu massage and chiropractic therapy are also quite a help.
Invite you to my blog :
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Painkillers and a bad back

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