Should I be taking them?!
NSAID’s (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are a group of medications used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation for a variety of complaints. They can be classified into different groups of medicine such as ibuprofen, Aspirin and Naproxen, however most people will know these for their brand names such as Voltaren and Nurofen. Often used for things like arthritis, headaches, muscles strains and tendinitis, NSAID’s can be purchased over the counter and are often recommended by healthcare providers.
However, like with most medications, there are various risks and side effects which deter people from using them, including: indigestion, stomach ulcers, headaches, dizziness and drowsiness whilst also increasing the risk of adverse cardiovascular events.
A great alternative which is becoming more popular are cream forms of these medications. These are referred to as topical NSAID’s. These are applied straight onto the skin and are absorbed into the painful tissues locally. By using this approach, you can avoid many of the risks associated with the oral NSAIDS mentioned above. The topical application often works best with muscles and joints close to the surface of the skin such as the hands, elbows, knees and ankles.
Although Osteopath’s do not prescribe medications, we adopt a wholistic approach which incorporates pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions. We therefore can help you work out whether you may benefit and be safe with the use of over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. However, this is only a very small part of the picture of what Osteopaths do. If you visit one of our Osteopaths at Blackburn Allied Health Group, they will aim to address the cause rather than just the symptoms of your presentation and will do this by providing long term solutions such as lifestyle or equipment modification, strength rehabilitation and biomechanical corrections.