Narcotics are strong drugs that are sometimes used to treat pain. They are also called opioids. You take them only when your pain is so severe that you cannot work or do your daily tasks. They may also be used if other types of pain medicine do not relieve pain.
Narcotics can provide short-term relief of severe back pain. This can allow you to return to your normal daily routine.
Narcotics work by attaching themselves to pain receptors in your brain. Pain receptors receive chemical signals sent to your brain and help create the sensation of pain. When narcotics attach to pain receptors, the drug can block the feeling of pain. Even though narcotics can stop the pain, they cannot cure the cause of your pain.
Narcotics are called “controlled substances” or “controlled medicines.” This means that their use is regulated by law. One of the reasons is that you can get addicted to narcotics. To keep from getting addicted, take narcotics exactly how your health care provider prescribed them.
You should not take narcotics for back pain for more than 3 - 4 months at a time, and even that may be too long for some people.
How you take narcotics will depend on your pain. Your health care provider may advise you to take them only when you have pain. Or, you may be advised to take them on a regular schedule if your pain is hard to control.
You need to follow some important guidelines if you are taking narcotics that your health care provider prescribed for you:
Nonspecific back pain - narcotics; Backache - chronic - narcotics; Lumbar pain - chronic - narcotics; Pain - back - chronic - narcotics; Chronic back pain - low - narcotics
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Healht Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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