Good over-the-counter pain relievers for back pain include acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, notes Mayo Clinic. If these drugs are ineffective, a doctor may prescribe prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; topical pain relief creams; muscle relaxants; narcotics, such as codeine or hydrocodone; low doses of specific antidepressants; or injections of cortisone.
It is also important to stop activity that increases back pain but continue to remain as active as possible, as advised by Mayo Clinic. Physical therapy treatments, such as heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and muscle-release techniques, may also reduce back pain. As pain abates, performing exercises to strengthen back and abdominal muscles and improve posture can keep pain at bay.