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Back Problems - Treating With Advil
Old 02-14-2008, 06:31 AM   #1
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Back Problems - Treating With Advil

I am continuing to have chronic back pain. It's now a tightness in the lower back, upper buttocks area. Sometimes the tightness moves to the lower thighs (sometimes one side, sometimes the other).
I have had extensive (14 weeks) of PT and it made thing much better (to the tightness stage, I am at now).
I do stretching exercises (from PT) ALMOST daily. When I miss more than 4 days in a row (it happens), I really start to feel the tightness come back.
I took doses of advil (600mg once a day) for about a week and my pain and tightness subsided. If I had to describe it, 0 being no pain and 10 being so painful, I had to stop my walk and crouch down until the pain subsided, I am now at 1.5 after taking the advil. I stopped taking the advil for 4 days and my pain level went back to a level 2 - 2.5. I just took one 600mg dose of advil and I'm back down to 1.5.

Question: what are the hazards if I continue to take advil for a prolonged period of time? Will my kidneys or liver 'go to hell'?
Can I go on and off advil for a week at a time (I'm trying to get as many less painful days as possible).
I looked on the net and got confused. Thanks.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:51 AM   #2
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MF - I think tylenol is more dangerous for the liver, if I remember correctly, and long term advil would be worse for the stomach. But it doesn't really sound like you are going overboard, one 600mg dose doesn't seem like too much. Maybe someone else has another perspective...

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Old 02-14-2008, 07:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by megacorp-firee View Post
Question: what are the hazards if I continue to take advil for a prolonged period of time? Will my kidneys or liver 'go to hell'?
Can I go on and off advil for a week at a time (I'm trying to get as many less painful days as possible).
I looked on the net and got confused. Thanks.
Ibuprofen in those doses is very safe, in many studies comparable to placebo. Here's a technical summary, if you're a masochist for technical material .

Your doctor should make sure you have normal kidney function and platelet function (both blood tests) since the drug affects both. I tell my patients to skip it if they are getting dehydrated from a stomach illness or other reasons, since that might increase kidney problems.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:21 AM   #4
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Thanks Rambler and Rich In Tampa.

RIT, I read the exec summary and the conclusion and scanned the rest. I see what you mean. It was almost as painful as the back pain itself. But thanks. That helps put my mind to rest about taking this stuff so often. Is a once a year blood test sufficient or should I ask my Dr. to monitor more often? Thanks.
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:24 AM   #5
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That helps put my mind to rest about taking this stuff so often. Is a once a year blood test sufficient or should I ask my Dr. to monitor more often? Thanks.
I don't do any special monitoring at those low doses, in general. Your doctor knows your specifics, so just bring it up next visit.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by megacorp-firee View Post
I am continuing to have chronic back pain. It's now a tightness in the lower back, upper buttocks area. Sometimes the tightness moves to the lower thighs (sometimes one side, sometimes the other).
I have had extensive (14 weeks) of PT and it made thing much better (to the tightness stage, I am at now).
I do stretching exercises (from PT) ALMOST daily. When I miss more than 4 days in a row (it happens), I really start to feel the tightness come back.
Depending on what you're attempting to do after those four days, you may have a chronic body position or "bad" movement habit that's causing the pain to return. One of the best sources of "safe" stretches and body-position awareness is Jolie Bookspan's blog and its index. Try looking up the terms "lordosis", "hyperlordosis", or "lower back" to get an idea about posture checks, planks, and other stretches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by megacorp-firee View Post
Question: what are the hazards if I continue to take advil for a prolonged period of time? Will my kidneys or liver 'go to hell'?
Can I go on and off advil for a week at a time (I'm trying to get as many less painful days as possible).
You can go on & off something like Advil that doesn't need days to build up to a level in your body. As for dosage/time, I've had two orthopedic surgeons prescribe 800 mg of ibuprofen 3x/day for periods of weeks to months. Their attitude has been "Take it when you need to, up to this level, and come back if it stops working. We have a couple dozen other medications to work through." I think it's prescribed by body weight, and mine is 190.

When you get up to naprosen or the prescription stuff, though, more care is required. Stretching & body position is comparatively much less painful.
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:06 PM   #7
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Funny, I was going to post a similar question, since I'm getting some mid-back pain from practicing piano.

Here's my question:

We've heard about how daily aspirin is good for you (heart-wise at least). Does ibuprofen have similar benefits?
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Funny, I was going to post a similar question, since I'm getting some mid-back pain from practicing piano.

Here's my question:

We've heard about how daily aspirin is good for you (heart-wise at least). Does ibuprofen have similar benefits?
No such luck. Aspirin (even a single tablet) knocks out your platelets for a week, with about a 15% per day recovery period. Ibuprofen and its cousins also stun platelet function, but they only do so temporarily for as long as they are in your system.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:02 PM   #9
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No such luck. Aspirin (even a single tablet) knocks out your platelets for a week, with about a 15% per day recovery period.
It would seem that those 83mg aspirins, added to a multivitamin with vitamins C & E, would make people bleed a lot from minor cuts.

At least that's what seems to happen with me. I can appreciate the heart-healthy effects, but only as long as I'm not exsanguinated...
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:25 PM   #10
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It would seem that those 83mg aspirins, added to a multivitamin with vitamins C & E, would make people bleed a lot from minor cuts.
Yup, even 81mg of ASA makes you take a little longer to clot off small, capillary type injuries. A minute or two longer.

It also stops platelets from clumping around tiny ruptures in coronary plaques, which is probably how it helps prevent heart attacks.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:32 PM   #11
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Funny, I was going to post a similar question, since I'm getting some mid-back pain from practicing piano.
Al, Al, Al: Piano Practice is not like Soccer Practice. With a piano you only move the rectangular little while and black things up and down, you don't have to slide the whole piano around.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:35 PM   #12
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you don't have to slide the whole piano around.
Nobody told me that.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:21 PM   #13
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Nobody told me that.
Or Jerry Lee Lewis, apparently. - ERD50
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:00 AM   #14
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Nobody told me that.
Quite understandable, though, TromboneAl
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:51 AM   #15
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a friend was on lots of advil for a longer than usual period of time for rsi? or carpal tunnel - and got pretty bad stomach aches/cramps from it - not sure if she did something wrong, but i believe her doctor told her it wasn't unusual...
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:31 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Funny, I was going to post a similar question, since I'm getting some mid-back pain from practicing piano.

Here's my question:

We've heard about how daily aspirin is good for you (heart-wise at least). Does ibuprofen have similar benefits?
I have a 'butt wedge' cushion that I sit on that makes me sit upright. Read Nords comments about lordosis, ...etc. I suspect you're slouching (consistently).
I screwed up my back by sitting in front of the computer, for days on end, for years on end. Now I will have to take the next few years fixing it.
Hence the stretching, ab and back exercises.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:34 AM   #17
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a friend was on lots of advil for a longer than usual period of time for rsi? or carpal tunnel - and got pretty bad stomach aches/cramps from it - not sure if she did something wrong, but i believe her doctor told her it wasn't unusual...
I was told to eat something before taking the advil. The Dr. also told me to stop if my stomach was giving me trouble. But for now, my pain level is manageable.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:51 AM   #18
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Hence the stretching, ab and back exercises.
add to that full-body massage and advil as needed to break the cycle of muscle spasm which presses on the nerve which causes pain which causes muscle spasm which presses on the nerve, etc.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:02 AM   #19
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I have a 'butt wedge' cushion that I sit on that makes me sit upright.
Yes, I may try that, but then it would be one more thing to schlep around to gigs.

I've been fine for years, but it now it is above that threshold causing that vicious cycle that Lazy described, so even if my posture were perfect, it would probably happen. It takes a lot of the fun out of gigs.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:18 PM   #20
 
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Megacorp,

You see more concerned about the results of taking Advil then the cause of your back pain. Have you been to see a neurologist or orthopedist about your back? The pain you describe sounds like what I went through because of Sciatica which I had to have surgery for.
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