Skip to content

    Pain Management Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Cervical Disc Disease Treatment: Drugs That Can Help

    Neck pain is one of the main symptoms of cervical disc disease, in which discs between vertebrae become herniated or deteriorate, sometimes pinching nerves.

    Several different drugs, from pain relievers to anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids, can help ease your neck pain while you heal. Depending on the extent of your neck pain and the type of cervical disc disease, you can either take these medications alone or use them together with physical therapy or other treatments.

    Recommended Related to Pain Management

    Chronic Pain: New Research, New Treatments

    As recently as 20 years ago, people with chronic pain were too often dismissively told that their problem was "in their heads" or that they were hypochondriacs. But in the last decade, a handful of dedicated researchers learned that chronic pain is not simply a symptom of something else -- such as anxiety, depression, or a need for attention -- but a disease in its own right, one that can alter a person's emotional, professional, and family life in profound and debilitating ways. Today, doctors have...

    Read the Chronic Pain: New Research, New Treatments article > >

    Drugs typically used to treat cervical disc disease include:

    Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Acetaminophen is usually among first-line drug treatments for pain. It can help with neck pain, but don't fall under the common misperception that acetaminophen is completely harmless just because it's readily available over-the-counter. Research shows that regular acetaminophen use can damage the liver, even in people who take the drug at the recommended dose. To make sure you're using acetaminophen as safely as possible, follow the directions carefully and don't take any more than the label suggests and your doctor recommends.

    Avoid using alcohol while taking acetaminophen to minimize the risks to your liver. Also, acetaminophen could be an ingredient in some other over-the-counter medications you may be taking. Look at all drug labels to be sure you're not taking too much acetaminophen.

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) are staples in the treatment of cervical disc disease because they reduce both pain and inflammation. Like acetaminophen, many NSAIDs are available over-the-counter, but they also need to be taken carefully. NSAIDs can have some serious side effects, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, and liver and kidney damage, especially when used for long periods of time. NSAIDs have also been linked to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

    Cox-2 inhibitors such as Celebrex are a newer generation of NSAIDs that are available by prescription and may have fewer digestive side effects.

    It's important to read the labels carefully and never exceed the doctor's recommended dose. You'll also want to avoid taking NSAIDs together with certain other medications because of the possibility of drug interactions. Talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take. Be especially cautious about taking NSAIDS if you are over 65, and/or you have kidney or liver problems.

    Today on WebMD

    pain in brain and nerves
    Top causes and how to find relief.
    knee exercise
    8 exercises for less knee pain.
     
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
    chronic pain
    Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
     
    illustration of nerves in hand
    Slideshow
    lumbar spine
    Slideshow
     
    Woman opening window
    Slideshow
    Man holding handful of pills
    Video
     
    Woman shopping for vegetables
    Slideshow
    Sore feet with high heel shoes
    Slideshow
     
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    Slideshow
    man with a migraine
    Slideshow