Inflammation is the body's response to injury to vascular tissues. Without inflammation, pathogens and injury would run unchecked, potentially destroying the body. Chronic inflammation, as opposed to acute inflammation, represents a change in the makeup of cells found at the inflamed site.

Because most episodes of back pain have inflammation as a contributing factor, anti-inflammatory medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often effective treatment options.

The type of NSAID recommended will usually depend on a number of factors, including the patient's diagnosis, clinical situation and level of pain, individual risk factors, and the patient's past experience with particular medications.