To Your Health
December, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 12)
NSAIDs Aren't Doing the Job
By Editorial Staff
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to reduce pain caused by soft-tissue injuries - think sprains, strains, contusions and other injuries that damage muscles, ligaments and tendons anywhere in the body.
Ever suffered an ankle sprain or similar soft-tissue injury? You've probably dealt with the pain by popping a few NSAIDs: Advil, Motrin, etc.
Besides the potential side effects, there's another problem with taking NSAIDs in cases of soft-tissue injuries: They may be more trouble than good. Don't take our word for it: Let's hear what a recent research review published in Nursing Times has to say:
"NSAIDs have been used for [soft-tissue] injuries on the basis that they reduce pain and lead to a stronger and more effective return to function. However, there is little evidence in support of the latter, and a growing body of evidence is suggesting NSAIDs can delay healing due to their effect on inflammation."
In other words, because NSAIDs block / reduce the body's natural inflammatory process following an injury, using them may actually delay healing by delaying repair, regeneration and growth. The inflammatory phase is critical to proper, timely healing.
There's also the potential side effects of NSAIDs to consider. While NSAIDs are not opioids, they can initiate any number of a wide variety of side effects including gastrointestinal bleeding and a higher risk of cardiovascular events, especially if used for long periods of time. Talk to your doctor for more information.