Commonly called “painkillers”, NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs), are often used to decrease inflammation and pain due to musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis, muscle and joint problems, as well as soft tissue injuries. They come in various strengths. In Canada, less concentrated NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are sold over the counter. Stronger forms of NSAIDs like diclofenac generally require a prescription.
It’s been known for some time, that some of the newer NSAIDs carry the risk of increased heart attack. Some have therefore been taken off the market. However, according to recently published research, some of the older commonly used NSAIDs also increased the risk of a heart attack.
Older NSAIDs, often used for osteoarthritis pain, may be more dangerous than we thought.
A group of researchers recently gathered information about the use of NSAIDs on patients with heart disease. The Their research resulted in a new guideline for the European Society of Cardiology recommending what doctors should consider before prescribing NSAIDs to a patient. This research has recently been published in the highly regarded research publication “European Heart Journal”.
Many of our clients with osteoarthritis, muscle and joint pain, or soft tissue injuries, have been taking NSAIDs to help manage pain. When they see me, they tell me about various negative side-effects they’ve been experiencing. And often it seems that their effectiveness of these painkillers is decreasing over longer periods of time. Sadly, this is not surprising, since these types of painkillers generally just mask the pain, but do not heal the underlying condition.
Cold Laser Therapy – An alternative to painkillers without the risks
Fortunately, there’s an alternative for several of the conditions that are commonly treated with NSAIDs: Cold Laser Therapy. This light based therapeutic treatment works to eliminate the source of the pain, rather than mask it with painkillers. We have found it to be one of the most effective treatments for many painful musculoskeletal conditions.
Cold Laser Therapy treatments deliver light energy to the body’s cells, which increases their ability to trigger the body’s natural healing processes. The effect is decreased inflammation and swelling, activated cartilage production in osteoarthritic joints, and the healing of damaged soft tissues. And when healing has occurred, pain goes away.
Completing a Cold Laser Therapy treatment plan will significantly reduce pain (if not eliminate it entirely), and restore range of motion. For more severe and/or degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis our clients seem to benefit from occasional “maintenance” (some of our clients call them “refresher”) treatments to give the cells in the affected body parts another energy boost. A couple of these treatments every few months help the body to keep the natural regeneration processes going over the long term.
For those who are looking for a side-effect free alternative to NSAIDs, Cold Laser Therapy can be be a great option to get moving and feeling normal again.