Other things that you can do are over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, assuming that you don’t have any medical problems that would contraindicate you from using them. And some of those things would include any allergies to aspirin or any of the other anti-inflammatories that may be out there or that you were given by your physician, in which case you should definitely not take any over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.

If you have ulcers or reflux, you certainly want to check with your physician first, liver or kidney problems of any kind check with your physician first and make sure that it is safe for you to take those medicines. That will help control pain and inflammation.

If you are going to take the medicine, what you want to do is make sure you take it at a dose that covers both the pain and the inflammation. And pain is covered at a lower dose than inflammation, which takes a higher dose of the over-the-counter medication. The reason for that is, and the reason the medicine can be sold over the counter, is that it’s at a much lower dose than your doctor would prescribe.

So for example, ibuprofen is sold at 200 mg, and you may take one or two pills two times a day and think you’re taking a lot of medicine, while actually you need to take four of those three times a day, to get to the same strength a doctor would prescribe, which is 800 mg three times a day if you are anywhere between the ages of about 18 and 70. If you are over 70, then you need to speak with your physician again because your kidney function and other functions may be impaired to some degree because of age and you have to cut back the dose.

Dr. Andrew Cole has 30 years of experience specializing in spine and joint pain management. Dr. Cole has held numerous medical appointments throughout his career, and recently served as the Executive Director of Rehabilitation & Performance Medicine Enterprise for Swedish Health Services and as Medical Director of Ambulatory Musculoskeletal Services for Swedish Medical Group.