Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is a class of analgesic medication that reduces pain, fever and inflammation. Since most episodes of back pain involve inflammation, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen are often an effective treatment option.
NSAIDs are cleared from the blood stream by the kidney; thus, precautions should be taken to avoid kidney damage and disease when NSAIDs are taken over an extended period. Side effects of NSAIDs include stomach ulcers and kidney and platelet dysfunction.
A new class of NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors, have become available that produce the anti-inflammatory effect with less side effects of traditional NSAIDs.