Anti-inflammatory drugs (otherwise known as NSAIDS) such as Nurofen, Advil, Voltaren, Mobic and many others are often our first port of call (besides Physiotherapy), after sustaining a musculoskeletal injury.
In basic terms, NSAIDS work by blocking the processes that result in inflammation. By blocking this process the resulting pain is decreased. NSAIDS will only work to improve pain if it is inflammatory in nature.
NSAIDS are commonly prescribed by doctors and recommended by physiotherapists to help relieve inflammation related pain in those initial stages and to help you get back to your normal activity quicker.
Below are some points to consider before taking NSAIDs when recommended by your health professional:
1. Is the medication appropriate for me?
– This means, are you on any other medications or supplements that interact with NSAIDs?
– Do you have any medical conditions that mean NSAIDs are not appropriate?
– Do you have inflammatory type pain?
– These questions are best answered by your doctor or pharmacist
2. What is the correct dosage and am I sticking to the instructions?
– The recommended dosage can be found on the box
– DO NOT exceed these recommendations – NSAIDs can cause serious health consequences when consumed in excess
o If larger and larger doses are still not controlling your pain your best option is to go back you your doctor ask for stronger pain relief as soon as possible
– NSAIDs often need to be taken with food to prevent damage to the lining of the stomach
3. How long should I be taking these for?
– In the first few days or weeks of an injury, taking NSAIDs every day is okay in most cases as long as you are not exceeding the recommended dosage
– However, your need for them should decrease incrementally as the inflammation resolves
o Ask yourself – do I need to take this tablet today? or has it become a habit
– If you are unsure how you will go without them – pick a day where you don’t have too much to do and trial a day without/cutting back to see how you go
If you have any questions or concerns about the use of anti-inflammatory drugs in the course of your treatment at Physionorth, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our physiotherapists about it – we are more than happy to help.