In some cases, to control pain of a more serious nature, narcotics might be prescribed. These drugs are classified by government agencies as controlled substances due to their addictive potential. Narcotics may be administered orally or by injection and are used to control mild to severe levels of pain.
When a narcotic is prescribed, the doctor does not start by prescribing the strongest drug available. Instead, a less potent drug is usually tried first. The doctor's goal is to prescribe the least amount of medication that will give the patient a reasonable level of comfort. Using medication as part of treatment is a way to help the patient through the acute pain phase, especially if an injury has been sustained.
This article is an excerpt from the book Save Your Aching Back and Neck: A Patient’s Guide, edited by Dr. Stewart Eidelson.