By Dr. Keith A. Briggs – Wed Oct 10, 2007
Saugus – Anti-inflammatory medications have become the standard remedy for strains, sprains and other soft tissue disorders. Their main action is to decrease pro-inflammatory chemicals that can cause pain.
In the short term they help reduce pain and swelling, however, do they promote healing and what are the side effects?
Elder, et al. found that Celecoxib, which is a Cox-2 inhibitor similar to Celebrex, given to rats following surgical transaction of their MCL, (a ligament in the knee) had a 32 percent lower load to failure than the untreated injured ligaments. According to Elder, there were no previous studies regarding the effect of Cox-2 inhibitors on any soft tissue disorders, yet they are widely advertised.
In another study performed by Stanley and Weaver, they found that NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may delay muscle healing in minor stretch injuries. They also found that in the group with severe strains, reduction of pain was better in the placebo group.
Regarding the side effects associated with anti-inflammatories, the most common are GI bleeding and peptic ulcers. However the side effects can be more extensive. Aleve, for example warns against constipation, heartburn, abdominal pain, nausea, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, rash, tinnitis, edema, nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys), Nephrotis syndrome, jaundice and hepatitis.
According to an article in the American Journal of Medicine, “complications related to NSAID use among arthritis patients are responsible for 16,500 deaths per year in the United States.”
In conclusion, while anti-inflammatories can decrease pain and swelling in the short term, they can also prolong healing and have adverse effects on abdominal, kidney, and liver function. More consideration should be given to chiropractic physiotherapy, exercise rehabilitation and nutrition in the treatment of many musculoskeletal disorders. They have been proven to be effective without the daunting side effects.
Doctors of Chiropractic are specially trained to provide safe, effective treatment for many neuromusculoskeletal conditions and allied disorders through manipulation, physiotherapy, exercise rehabilitation and nutritional counseling.
For questions, contact Dr. Keith A. Briggs of Briggs Chiropractic Office, P.C. located at 320 Central Street in Saugus, MA at 781-233-4122.