There are multiple over-the-counter (non-prescription) and prescription medications that can be helpful in relieving pain and addressing related symptoms while an episode of pain is getting better. Careful attention to pain management is a critical component of a patient’s recovery, as acute or chronic pain can lead to depression, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty exercising and stretching, all of which in turn can exacerbate and prolong a painful condition.
Two types of over-the-counter medications, acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), are commonly recommended to alleviate pain. Acetaminophen and NSAID’s work differently and therefore may be taken at the same time. For short periods of time, prescription medications (such as narcotic pain medications and muscle relaxants) may be helpful to alleviate pain or related complications. Other classes of drugs (such as antidepressants or anti-seizure medications) can also help modulate the sensation of pain and can be taken on a prolonged basis.