After hurting my back at work the doctor gave me a narcotic painkiller. I've heard these drugs can be addictive and dangerous. What other options do I have?

It's best to discuss the question directly with your physician. Most patients using analgesics for back pain do so for 30 days or less. Drug addiction isn't likely in this short time period. If you have a previous history of drug addiction or substance abuse, then an opioid such as codeine or morphine isn't advised.

Other treatment such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, or spinal injection may be some options. Over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen can be prescribed in higher doses if needed. Again, ask your doctor for some guidance in this area.

Molly T. Vogt, PhD, et al. Analgesic Usage for Low Back Pain: Impact on Health Care Costs and Service Use. In Spine. May 1, 2005. Vol. 30. No. 9. Pp. 1075-1081.

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