Cervical Spine Sprain/Strain Injuries Medication

Updated: Nov 24, 2021
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

Pain and inflammation can be reduced by the judicious use of NSAIDs. The antiprostaglandin effect of NSAIDs may control the inflammatory response to an injury and may provide pain relief. The duration of the analgesic effect of an NSAID may be different than the duration of its anti-inflammatory effect. Some investigators have expressed concern that NSAIDs may actually interfere with the later stages of tissue repair and remodeling in which prostaglandins still help mediate cleanup of debris. The dosage, timing, and potential side effects of NSAIDs should be evaluated.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Class Summary

NSAIDs have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic activities. The mechanism of action of these agents is not known, but they may inhibit cyclooxygenase activity and prostaglandin synthesis. Other mechanisms may exist as well, such as inhibition of leukotriene synthesis, lysosomal enzyme release, lipoxygenase activity, neutrophil aggregation, and various cell membrane functions.

Ibuprofen (Motrin, Ibuprin)

DOC for patients with mild to moderate pain. Inhibits inflammatory reactions and pain by decreasing prostaglandin synthesis.

Naproxen (Naprosyn, Naprelan, Anaprox)

For relief of mild to moderate pain. Inhibits inflammatory reactions and pain by decreasing the activity of cyclooxygenase, which results in the decrease of prostaglandin synthesis.


Muscle relaxants

Class Summary

Muscle relaxants are thought to work centrally by suppressing conduction in the vestibular cerebellar pathways. These agents may have an inhibitory effect on the parasympathetic nervous system.

Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)

Skeletal muscle relaxant that acts centrally and reduces motor activity of tonic somatic origins, influencing both alpha and gamma motor neurons. Structurally related to tricyclic antidepressants and thus carries some of their same liabilities.