If you have an occasional headache or use pain medications occasionally for muscle pulls or aches and pains, you probably won’t have any problems. But for people who have chronic pain, aspirin and ibuprofen aren’t the best pain options. New studies show that long term use can lead to serious conditions that affect the kidneys, bones, hearing and even the heart. They may increase your risk for heart attack according to the latest studies. That’s not even mentioning the harsh results on the stomach. There are other options for people suffering from constant pain that don’t have the same side effects.
Not all NSAIDs—nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs—have the same dangers.
While ibuprofen and naproxin may increase the risk for heart disease when taken long term, aspirin actually is linked to protecting the heart and acetaminophen has no effect either way. That doesn’t mean that long term use doesn’t create problems. Stomach problems and bleeding or ulcers can be a problem when using aspirin for long term pain relief. Kidney disease and bleeding in the digestive tract, plus increased risk for stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure may come with acetaminophen.
Try an alternative like white willow bark.
White willow bark was the original aspirin used the same pain relieving ingredient, salicylic acid to relieve pain, but unlike the synthetically produced salicylic acid, it doesn’t hurt your stomach. In fact, the ingredient, salicin, in willow bark actually converts to salicylic acid in the stomach. The contents of the willow bark is anti-inflammatory and brings pain relief.
Consider another anti-inflammatory, turmeric.
Yes, that powder that turns food the rich golden color and is found in many Indian dishes is also a potent anti-inflammatory. You can sprinkle it onto your food or throw a bit into the next smoothie. If nothing else, it gives great color to the dish. Turmeric also has other health benefits from improving your skin to fighting off Alzheimer’s. That’s because many conditions are caused by inflammation and it helps prevent it. The curcumin in turmeric lowers the enzymes responsible for inflammation.
- Studies have shown that using omega-3 fatty acids regularly, like those found in krill or fish oil, nuts or seeds, helps lower pain and reduce inflammation for people with arthritis.
- Ginger has been shown to be a top anti-inflammatory and stops inflammation before it develops into inflammatory compounds, like aspirin and other pain relievers. It goes a step further and breaks them down, while also neutralizing the acidity in the joints. Ginger tea is good for pain.
- You can reduce pain from muscle injuries with capcaicin, the substance that makes chili peppers hot. You rub it onto the affected area and it blocks the transmission of pain signals.
- If you’ve ever wondered why soaking in Epsom salt is effective for muscle pain, migraines and fibromyalgia, it’s the magnesium in it that enters the body transdermally—through the skin. You can also boost your magnesium by munching on sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.