Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Anti-inflammatory drugs are the most commonly recommended and prescribed treatment for lower back pain.

With any injury, be it a cut, bruise or muscle strain, the body will undergo an inflammation process. This process is essential and should be permitted to proceed with minimal interference.

Inflammation Is Not The Enemy

Foolishly, many doctors believe that they are wiser than nature. Inflammation, just like pain or spasm, is our friend and should not be halted before the body has had a chance to complete its healing powers.

If we listen to our bodies, we will not end up with an inflammation process that is over-reactive. If we fail to listen and interfere, we will create an inflammation process that fails to heal as nature intended.

Most of the time when you visit your medical doctor for low back pain he immediately assumes that you need anti-inflammatory drugs. This may be in the form of aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, NSAIDs and perhaps even destructive corticosteroids.

He fails to understand that the acute stage, when anti-inflammation medicine will have a more desirable effect, has more than likely passed and any pain you are feeling now is not due to inflammation; but, rather the result of active trigger points.

Total elimination of inflammation should not be a goal nor can it be a possible outcome. You need inflammation to repair damaged tissue, fight and kill off invading bacteria and viruses and even destroy cancer cells.

However, chronic inflammation can cause and/or contribute to :

  • heart disease
  • arthritis
  • dementia
  • cancer
  • pain

The secret is encouraging and allowing the body to use inflammation for health and at the same time control or reduce unnecessary damaging inflammation.

Are Drugs The Answer?

Prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs will temporarily treat the pain or mask the symptoms.

If anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers or pain suppressors were effective and lasting, or something that was actually needed, then would not the pain have ceased to exist after taking prescribed anti-inflammatory medicine?

If drugs were the answer then everyone taking these prescribed medicines should be cured and they would no longer be needed.

Anti-inflammatory Drugs

If drugs actually did the job they were suppose to do there would be no one with chronic lower back pain.

If these anti-inflammatory drugs really worked at curing lower back pain, there would be no need for these medicines beyond the initial acute stage. Chronic low back pain would be a rare condition.

Sadly, what happens is the opposite.

These very drugs contribute to, and at times cause, chronic low back pain. The long term outcome is a dependence of all types of palliative care in the form of medication, chiropractic adjustments or massages.

Anti-Inflammatory Drug Side Effects

Here are some of the side effects of anti-inflammation medications, muscle relaxers and painkillers:

Gastrointestinal

  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gastric ulceration/bleeding
  • Diarrhea

Renal

  • Salt and fluid retention
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

In rarer instances NSAIDs may also cause more severe renal conditions:

  • Interstitial nephritis
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Acute renal failure
  • Acute tubular necrosis

Other

  • Photo-sensitivity
  • Raised liver enzymes, headache, dizziness.
  • Rapid and severe swelling of the face and/or body.
  • Ibuprofen may also rarely cause irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
  • Somnolence and dizziness
  • In very rare cases, ibuprofen can cause aseptic meningitis

Possible Drug Interactions

The following examples of possible drug reactions with NSAIDs was taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-steroidal_anti-inflammatory_drug :

  • NSAIDs reduce renal blood flow and thereby decrease the efficacy of diuretics, and inhibit the elimination of lithium and methotrexate.
  • NSAIDs cause hypocoagulability, which may be serious when combined with other drugs that also decrease blood clotting, such as warfarin.
  • NSAIDs may aggravate hypertension (high blood pressure) and thereby antagonize the effect of antihypertensives, such as ACE Inhibitors.
  •  NSAIDs may interfere and reduce efficiency of antidepressants.

There are natural ways to control the symptoms of pain, spasm and inflammation without risking serious and at times fatal reactions.

You can control and reduce inflammation with anti-inflammatory herbs, avoiding pro-inflammatory foods and adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet or an alkaline diet, identifying food allergies or hypersensitivities and eliminating them from your diet and drinking adequate water daily.

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