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NSAIDs – Friend or Foe?

Among the most common over-the-counter pain relievers are Non-Steroidal, Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). You probably recognize them by names such as aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve or simply ibuprofen. vitamins

How do they Work?

These and similar drugs block the body’s production of prostaglandins, reducing inflammation and fever.

NSAIDs work like corticosteroids, but without many of the very harsh side effects of steroids. Steroids are man-made drugs that are very similar to cortisone, a naturally-occurring hormone. Like cortisone, NSAIDs are effective in reducing acute pain and inflammation often associated with joint and muscle diseases and injuries.

However, just because they are available without a prescription, these NSAIDs have serious side effects, can be addictive and still carry consequences when used in long term situations. Also, there is no guarantee that they will work.

These are still considered drugs and should not be taken with aspirin or alcohol. Furthermore, they lose their effectiveness over time, meaning that your body builds up a tolerance to the medication.

What are the Warnings and Side Effects?

Man holding stomach

Did you know? Some studies point to NSAIDs causing problems in your gut.

These drugs have been linked with an increase in heart attacks and strokes. This risk increases with those individuals with past cardiovascular issues or related risk factors, such as having high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes etc).

Additionally, studies concluded the use of NSAIDs led to a greater risk for stomach and bowel conditions (i.e., stomach bleeding, lesions, ulcers). Our gut holds most of our immune system cells; a damaged gut by using NSAIDs will affect things like weight loss, hormone levels, energy and our ability to fight sickness.

Some NSAID Gut Symptoms include:

  • Gas and bloating
  • Heartburn and Acid Reflux
  • Vomiting, Pain, Nausea
  • Diarrhea and/or Constipation

Unfortunately, for those side effects, our conventional health care model recommends Anti-Acids, like Mylanta or Pepto-Bismol, but which actually makes the problem worse!

NSAIDs also put strain and stress on the liver, which has many responsibilities such as metabolism of hormones and detoxification.

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.

As you can see, NSAIDs are not as safe or healthy as they are made out to be!

A Different Approach

Our office approaches pain and inflammation from a holistic, whole-body approach. We ask WHY are you having the pain in the first place and WHERE is the pain coming from? Let’s help you find out the Root Cause and solve the underlying issue.

Let’s say you have a sinking boat. NSAIDs are like taking water out of the boat, one bucket at a time, but never searching for why the boat is sinking.

Our approach is to find the reason why it’s sinking in the first place, let’s say a big hole. We fix and repair the hole, and let the boat get back to working properly on it’s own.

Pain Relief without NSAIDs?

What are some alternatives to NSAIDs or any type of Medication you can use to relieve inflammation and pain?

  • Corrective and consistent chiropractic care. Chiropractic has been shown in thousands of studies to be effective and BETTER than NSAIDS, medication or even surgery at reducing, managing and eliminating pain. It should be our first go-to when something is feeling wrong. Chiropractic searches to find and correct where the pain is coming from and remove any stress within our Nervous System.
  • Improving Mobility and Flexibility. The more we move, the better our joints, muscles and bones move, because of improved blood flow and circulation. Prioritize doing ranges of motion, stretching, getting up at work during the day, and overall being physically active.
  • Get enough sleep and rest: This is when the body naturally recovers, heals and repairs itself. We need a quality 7-8 hours of sleep per night to have these processes occur. Listen to your body when it’s in pain; it is okay to slow down and recover!
  • Consume Quality Fish Oil, that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fats have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation, neck and low back pain while improving brain and heart health!
  • Eat Whole Foods: Sugar of all kinds raises inflammation within the body. Reducing sugar and grains from your diet helps lessen pain overall.
  • Get an adequate amount of Vitamin D, which is important to immune functioning and bone health.
  • Certain herbs are natural alternatives to reduce inflammation and pain. These include: Curcumin found in Turmeric, Ginger, Boswelia, Willow Bark, Frankincense, and Bromelain. Many use Pure Essential Oils such as Lemongrass, Marjoram or Rosemary to naturally support pain reduction.

The Bottom Line?

NSAIDs have recently come under scrutiny and there are many side effects and warnings that aren’t talked about enough. 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. We can help you get to the root cause of your pain, inflammation and solve the issue once and for all.

We are offering a new patient special for only $57 (a $325 value), which includes a full health history, consultation, complete health examination, all necessary X-rays and a report of findings.

*Offer excludes: workers’ comp, personal injury, Medicare and Medicaid.  We do not participate with workers’ comp, Medicare, and Medicaid.



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