NSAID Pain Relievers: A SHOCKING Discovery
My excellent editor told me the other day that she gave in and took some naproxen for her psoriatic arthritis pain.
And she’s not alone.
Occasionally even people who are passionate about natural medicine turn to over-the-counter or prescription drugs for pain relief.
After all, joint pain can be downright debilitating.
But before you reach for that bottle again you NEED to know something…
Your temporary solution for joint pain could leave you with permanent damage.
Don’t take another NSAID pain reliever until you read this!
Many of us have at least one non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) hidden away in our medicine cabinet.
These meds include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, and others, and are taken to relieve inflammation and pain.
Unfortunately, NSAIDs come with a laundry list of side effects. When used regularly, they send your risk for ulcers, internal bleeding, kidney disease, and stroke climbing.
And now researchers say we can add one more ironic… and tragic… side effect to that list.
It turns out NSAIDs could make your arthritis pain WORSE.
A new study, presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), found that using NSAIDs for arthritis pain can backfire on us in a BIG way.
The new research revealed that the drugs can make inflammation in the knee joint worse over time. In other words, it does the exact OPPOSITE of what you want.
The scientists used MRI scans to measure joint inflammation and cartilage quality. This is critical because many arthritis studies rely on the volunteer’s perceptions of pain to determine how effective a drug is.
But in this case, actual measurements of the thickness of the cartilage in the knee were taken.
The researchers found that the volunteers who used NSAIDs had far worse inflammation and cartilage quality after four years.
No one is exactly sure why this is happening.
What we DO know is that NSAIDs work by altering hormone-like substances called eicosanoids. These compounds, including thromboxanes, prostaglandins, and prostacyclins, regulate inflammation.
But they have other effects on the body, too. And we’re still figuring out what those are.
For example, when you take aspirin to lower inflammation, mucus production in the gut is also blocked. This is one of the triggers of the ulcers and bleeding we sometimes see with NSAIDs.
Something similar could be happening with cartilage production. Taking NSAIDs may stop your body from making new cartilage, eventually leading to breakdown.
The bottom line is it’s best to only use NSAIDs when you absolutely have to. Try some of these proven effective alternatives instead.
- Glucosamine is a normal component of cartilage and acts almost like a lubricant allowing the joints to move smoothly. I recommend a daily dose of 1500 milligrams.
- Chondroitin is another building block of cartilage. Studies show chondroitin reduces joint pain and stiffness in people with osteoarthritis. I recommend 400 to 800 milligrams two to three times a day for the best results.
- SAMe or S-adenosyl-L-methionine is an amino acid your body uses for cartilage repairs. To ease osteoarthritis symptoms, folks usually take 200 to 400 milligrams of SAMe three times a day.
- Fish oil contains anti-inflammatory DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Studies confirm fish oil relieves joint pain. I recommend between 1000 to 3000 milligrams daily.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an amino acid that can be taken to rebuild or maintain joint health. Daily doses range from 1500 to 6000 milligrams.
Don’t let the lure of temporary relief tempt you into taking NSAIDs. If you do, you could be left with far worse inflammation and permanent joint damage
“Impact of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) on Synovitis and the Progression of Osteoarthritis: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI).” Paper presented at: RSNA 2022 – Empowering Patients and Partners in Care, Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) November 27 to December 01, 2022
Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND
Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.
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