Many of you were probably among those that found some relief from arthritis or other pain problems with Cox 2 inhibitors. A (COX-2 selective inhibitor is a form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that directly targets cyclooxygenase-2 [COX-2], an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. After several COX-2 inhibiting drugs were approved for marketing, data from clinical trials revealed that certain COX-2 inhibitors caused a significant increase in heart attacks and -Bextra, Viox, Celebrex were removed. You probably were experiencing anxiety and frustration when these drugs had been withdrawn because they contribute to heart problems plus you stil had some degree of pain (mild to severe). It was already known that Cox-2 inhibitors contributed to ulcers and osteoporosis. Now there are new anti-pain and arthritic NSAIDS that once again the FDA has approved to take their place still that are still one of the leading causes of ulcer.
But like so many of the medications used and advertised there are many side affects especially with long term use. For example, opioid addiction and deaths that have become epidemic. Unfortunately the pharmaceutical companies either put the side affects in “quick talk” along with videos of happy grandparents playing joyfully with their grandchildren while skating over all the possible side affects as the CEOs athletically run to deposit their salaries.
The good news is there are natural anti-inflammatory medications -supplements that have been giving relief for hundreds of years. These are some that work well from my own experience and with my clients. I know there are many others including alternatives like going to a qualified and empathetic acupuncturist or chiropractor. Try to choose one that also gives you homework to do so that you learn how you can diminish pain. Also, I like radiographic evidence of what is the pathology to cause the pain. Alleviation is just that-alleviation: we want to try to get to the cause while working to alleviate a health problem.
The following are just two of the natural anti-inflammatory supplements that I have had success with clients, myself and family.
CURCUMIN: (ALSO KNOW AS TUMERIC: This is the yellow pigment in curry dishes. It is as effective as cortisone and COX 2 inhibitors in reducing inflammation without causing the side effects such as ulcers and osteoporosis. It works by inhibiting the major inflammatory factors ( leuktrienes and thromboxanes) that Bextra and the other Cox 2 inhibitors did not, thus causing the heart problems that made them dangerous. Curcumin may not take away acute pain but over a short time will bring down the inflammation that is contributing to the pain. That is why at times I will start the client on a stronger pain medication (opioid) along with the curcumin and then in 2-3 days take them off or wean them off the opioid. That I do only for certain cases if the injury is obviously causing augmented pain. There is now evidence based medicine that curcumin may help prevent certain cancers and help along with cancer treatments when the cancer is already established.
GINGER: – This natural remedy also stops the production of the inflammatory chemicals mentioned above. It is also a strong antioxidant. Another application of ginger is its use in nausea and vomiting. That is why physicians are recommending it for nausea during pregnancy and for people with moti good gut health but like any thing that makes the body function properly (hormones, enzymes etc) there exists an optima amount.
These suggestions are effective natural solutions that have no real side effects unless one is allergic to them. There are many more natural ways to inhibit different arthritis-like problems that also have other benefits for the cardiovascular system; such as exercise, different types of yoga, different types of meditation. Remember, as I wrote above, there is a place for alternative body work wither by itself or in conjunction with allopathic medicine or your supplements. Just be sure there is a correct diagnosis. It is beneficial to talk to your doctor about the right way to take them and helpful activities for your specific malady since each person is different.
Self hypnosis and imaging: With these techniques one can learn to decrease pain and tension in a very short time. All it takes is a good instructor and practice. Do not forget about the healing effects on arthralgias (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc.) that the gentle forms of yoga can provide. I believe I have been saved from a shoulder prosthesis operation for more then 20 years doing yoga.
The introduction to my book: Emotional Vampires and Your Hormones: an holistic physician’s view of how stress affects your well-being and what you can do about it, tells my story how I was introduced to hypnosis and imagery 25 years ago and have been using to this day. I have even sutured little children just using hypnosis. Both can alleviate pain and cure the cause so often.
But as always whether it be allopathic pharmaceuticals or natural that alleviate inflammation or pain the cause needs to be searched and investigated.