Non Surgical Treatments
Over-the-counter pain relievers include acetaminophen (Tylenol), Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, and Aleve)
Both acetaminophen and NSAIDs reduce fever and relieve pain caused by muscle aches and stiffness, but only NSAIDs can also reduce inflammation (swelling and irritation). NSAIDs relieve pain by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that cause pain. Topical pain relievers are also available without a doctor's prescription. These products include creams, lotions or sprays that are applied to the skin in order to relieve pain from sore muscles and arthritis. Some examples of topical pain relievers include Aspercreme, Ben-Gay, and Capsaicin.
Antidepressants are drugs that can treat pain and/or emotional conditions by adjusting levels of neurotransmitters (natural chemical) in the brain. These medications can increase the availability of the body's signals for well-being and relaxation, enabling pain control for people with chronic pain conditions that do not completely respond to usual treatments.
Anticonvulsants are drugs typically used to treat seizure disorders. Some of these medications are shown to be effective in treating pain as well. These medications minimize the effects of nerves that cause pain. These medications typically work well for pain radiating into the arms and legs.
Corticosteroids provide relief for the inflamed areas of the body by easing swelling. When used for pain control they can by given by injection form or pills.
Muscle relaxers are typically used to treat acute muscle problems, though they are sometimes incorporated into the treatment of chronic pain conditions that involve painful muscle spasms. These medications act a several sites in the body to reduce muscle tone and relax tight, tense muscles. Some of these medications have direct effects on skeletal muscle fibers, while others influence occurs at the spinal cord level.