Health Update: Anti-Inflammatory Drugs May Prolong Pain

Hello everyone:

Here is some news that has been known for quite some time and is now making headlines once again. The following quote sums it up quite nicely:

“A new study questions the conventional wisdom of using steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to treat low back pain if exercise and other non-drug therapies don’t work right away.

Those medications offer relief from acute pain but may actually increase a person’s chances of developing chronic pain, said the study published in Science Translational Medicine. The study indicates that inflammation is a normal part of recovering from a painful injury and that inhibiting inflammation may result in more-difficult-to-treat chronic pain.”

And from the article referenced from the above link:

“Together, our results suggest that active immune processes confer adaptation at the acute pain stage, and impairment of such inflammatory responses in subjects with acute LBP (or TMD) increases the risk of developing chronic pain. These adaptive inflammatory responses are intrinsically transcriptionally driven, probably modified by both genetics and environmental factors, and can be inhibited by steroids and NSAIDs. These responses are transient, which is probably the main reason why they were previously overlooked. Our conclusions may have a substantial impact on medical treatment of the most common presenting complaints to health care professionals. Specifically, our data suggest that the long-term effects of anti-inflammatory drugs should be further investigated in the treatment of acute LBP and likely other pain conditions.”

Bottom Line:

If you have an acute injury, there is research literature stating that the use of anti-inflammatory medications of any type should not be used for more than 5 days if at all possible. This is because the medication will delay or abort the resolution process of inflammation and set the stage for chronic inflammation and pain as well as delayed or poor or ineffective healing. (See the link at the bottom of the page, and if interested go to page 8 and 9.) Alternatives that do not interfere with healing and resolution are such things as: chiropractic adjustments; physical therapy; Curcumin from Turmeric; Boswellia: Ginger; Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids. (These supplements should not be used if you are on blood thinning medications). There are many more pro-resolution and anti-inflammatory resources for chronic conditions, however, here we are referencing mainly acute issues. Talk with the prescribing physician about this issue if you are on longer term anti-inflammatory medications about any possible alternatives. You can also reach out to us as this is a special interest of ours because if you have read our blog before, then you know that inflammation causes, perpetuates, and/or aggravates every known human ailment and that we have natural strategies to help protect your health from inflammation.



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