Pharmacological agents

Basic analgesics

Analgesics such as aspirin, paracetamol and codeine plus paracetomol (acetaminophen) should be used for pain relief.


These are useful where there is clinical evidence of inflammation, especially with the spondyloarthropathies, severe spondylosis and in acute radicular pain, to counter the irritation on the nerve root. NSAIDs should not be used for mechanical dysfunction.

Antiepileptic drugs

These have been helpful in controlling acute radicular pain subject to repetitive bursts of lightning-like pains. Examples include carbamazepine and clonazepam.


These have been used with success in the treatment of chronic back pain (especially without demonstrable pathology) and in patients with depression and associated back pain.

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