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Veritas Health Poll Shows That Advil, Aleve Most-Used for Back Pain Relief

Survey indicates preferred pain-relievers among visitors.

April 24, 2008

Deerfield, Illinois: Half of those with back pain reach for Advil or Aleve for relief, according to a poll conducted by, a leading resource for people with back pain, neck pain, and other chronic pain conditions.

The poll, which ran on from March to April 2008, asked 899 consumers which over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever they prefer for treating back pain or neck pain. The respondents were offered the choice of several brand name OTC pain relievers, and a write-in option.

Ibuprofen in general (Advil, Motrin and Nuprin combined) accounted for 39% of the responses. 26% of the respondents said Advil (ibuprofen) is their first choice for OTC pain relief, while 24% selected Aleve (naproxen). Tylenol (acetaminophen) was chosen by 11%, and aspirin was selected by 5%. “Other” accounted for 15% and responses ranged from various prescription drugs to no alternative specified.

Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, commonly referred to as NSAIDs. Because most episodes of back pain have inflammation as a contributing factor, NSAIDs are frequently recommended by physicians as an effective treatment option because they work like aspirin by limiting the formation of inflammation but have fewer gastrointestinal side effects (such as gastritis or ulcers) than aspirin.

“NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, are most often recommended for treating activity-related pain or discomfort (e.g. pain that follows sports, housework, shoveling snow, or other exertion), pain related to muscle strain in the low back, and neck stiffness related to muscle, ligament or tendon strains or damage,” said Dr. Stephen Hochschuler, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Texas Back Institute and a Medical Advisor for

Acetaminophen is not considered an NSAID because it does not impact inflammation but works directly as a pain reliever, often in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications.

More information about back pain, neck pain, and treatment options, like over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, and surgical procedures, can be found in the Spine-health Pain Treatments Health Center.

About Veritas Health
Veritas Health publishes original, unbiased, and comprehensive resources to help millions of people each month make informed decisions about their health. Our rigorous editorial process is modeled after medical journals and ensures articles are reviewed with integrity and objectivity. The Veritas Health platform—including,,, and—is a trusted authority on back pain, arthritis, sports injuries, and chronic pain conditions. For more information visit


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