Our society likes to take a pill and feel better. If only
all pills could just make everyone feel better. Some drugs do, some don’t. Some
relieve the pain while they harm other functions. Spinal Care Clinic prides itself
on its conservative, non-drug approach to back pain relief, but Spinal Care Clinic
also recognizes the role pain relievers can play in the overall treatment plan.
Gabapentin is a neuropathic pain drug that Spinal Care Clinic sees our Burlington and Hamilton patients taking more
and more, so let’s take a look at gabapentin a little closer.
As with most pain interventions, research shares the good
and the bad. Spinal Care Clinic often hears the stories of the relief and stories of the
continued pain. On the positive side of the neuropathic pain reliever,
gabapentin, one set of researchers report it as good for pain due to a far
lateral lumbar disc herniation. They found it to be “fast and effective.” Visual analog scale scores (0 no pain to 10
most pain) were 9.3 (pre-treatment) dropping to 5 (day 1), 2.6 (day 7), and 1.3
(day 30), so they recommend gabapentin as the first-step medication for pain in
patients with this specific disc herniation. They propose that the direct
compression of the dorsal root ganglion nerve by this type of herniation is why
this drug which is touted for nerve pain is such a reliever. (1)
Spinal Care Clinic hopes that any Burlington and Hamilton back pain patients who choose
to try gabapentin would find relief, but some don’t.
So why gabapentin for back pain? Research reflects on the
fact that back pain has a neuropathic component, that the nervous system is
involved particularly when back pain turns chronic. The spinal nerves are
affected. For low back pain, paracetamol and NSAIDs are often prescribed, but they
don’t stop the neuropathic pain associated with affected spinal nerves.
Therefore, neuropathic pain medications like gabapentin/pregabalin along with antidepressants
are tried. The data on their effectiveness are limited. (2) One article about
gabapentin just declared it “ineffective” for chronic low back pain with or
without a radiating component, with or without leg pain sciatica. The
researchers even state so boldly that “there are no controlled trials supporting
this practice [of prescribing gabapentin for pain control of chronic low back
pain].” (3) Spinal Care Clinic certainly encourages our Burlington and Hamilton back
pain patients to consult with their pain physician if they aren’t noticing any
Some pain relieving drugs help patients get through “the
worst” of the pain. They take the edge off of the pain. They may be the bridge that allows a
back pain patient to stay on the conservative, non-surgical road to back pain
relief. Spinal Care Clinic understands that. So contact Spinal Care Clinic. At your
Burlington and Hamilton chiropractic examination, we’ll discuss all of your drugs
and prior treatments and set a pain relieving treatment plan that includes spinal manipulation Cox Technic just for you.
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page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I