If you suffer a workplace accident, such as a fall from height, some injuries could be long-term. Most bone breaks tend to heal, allowing you to return to work as before. Yet chronic back pain may never disappear. It could plague your home and work life, requiring you to take regular medication to get through each day. If your job involves lifting, twisting or other movements, the pain may prevent you from performing the tasks your job requires.
The problem with the medication currently available to treat back pain is that it can be harmful. If your doctor prescribed paracetamol or aspirin, that could irritate your stomach lining, leading to gastrointestinal bleeding. If they prescribe opioids, you run the risk of addiction, as many Americans have found out. Spinal surgery is an alternative but aside from being costly, it does not always work.
Pharmacists have spent years working on alternatives
One avenue pharmaceutical companies have explored is nerve growth inhibitors. These work differently from currently available options. They function by blocking nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein that is needed for your body to send pain signals to your brain. Remember, when you feel your back hurting, the reason you can feel it is because your brain is telling you that your back hurts.
So far pharmaceutical companies’ attempts to get approval for these drugs to treat chronic back pain have failed. The latest rejection was of a drug called Tanezumab. The reason given for the rejection is that there is a major side effect. A small percentage of people that trialed the drugs suffered joint deterioration. So relieving one problem could result in the need for joint replacement operations.
It is easy to overlook back pain in the aftermath of an accident. Yet, when you realize the possible long-term effects, and the limited treatment options available, you can see how serious a matter it is. Securing adequate workers’ compensation for all your injuries is crucial to ensure you do not suffer more than you already have.