NSAIDs – Friend or Foe?
Among the most common over-the-counter pain relievers are Non-Steroidal, Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). You probably recogni[z]e them by names such as aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve or simply ibuprofen.
These and similar drugs block the body’s production of prostaglandins, reducing inflammation and fever. These drugs have been linked with an increase in heart attacks.
Additionally, studies conducted in Britain are concerning. They concluded the use of NSAIDs led to a greater risk for gastroduodenal conditions (i.e., stomach bleeding, lesions, ulcers). One such study found that one in 1200 patients taking NSAIDs for at least two months died from gastroduodenal complications. The researchers conceded that age and overall health may have affected their outcomes. Yet their results strongly suggest that chronic use of NSAIDs can result in severe complications. They advocate usage of only the minimum dosage for the shortest amount of time.
And as if these effects weren’t enough, long-term use of NSAIDs can cause damage to the eyes. That includes dry eyes, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinol hemorrhage.
Besides regular chiropractic care, what are some alternatives you can use to relieve inflammation and pain?
- Fish oils, that contain omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to be effective in reducing neck and low back pain.
- Reducing sugar and grains from your diet helps lessen arthritis pain.
- Increasing the amount of vitamin D your body receives, through sun exposure or cod liver oil.
- Certain herbs, such as willow bark, are natural alternatives to reduce inflammation and pain.
The bottom line? NSAIDs have recently come under scrutiny by governmental watchdogs. In light of the research, chiropractic care is certainly a safer alternative. And while NSAIDs are convenient and widely available, it doesn’t make them safe.
Do you know someone who reaches for the medicine cabinet to relieve pain? Encourage them to reach for the phone and call us for a no-obligation consultation.