pill bottle

He says that most of his golf buddies (guys in their forties and fifties) rely on them: a couple of Ibruprofen pills before, during or after a round of golf.

Golf fanatics aren’t the only ones. A runner I know (in his 60’s) is one of many who swears his knees wouldn’t hold up if he didn’t pop those anti-inflammatory pills.

The rationale for the use of these drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other NSAID’s) seems logical:

  1. injuries cause inflammation…..
  2. reduce inflammation with medication…….
  3. injury gets better faster.

But does that logic really stand up to scientific scrutiny?

A growing body of evidence indicates that using NSAID’s to combat sports injuries can backfire.

Inflammation is a good thing. It’s the necessary first step of the healing process. Anti-inflammatory medication foreshortens the inflammatory phase of soft tissue injury. If you’re a football player, you’ll get back onto the field sooner if you take an Advil or two.

But because they override your body’s natural healing cycle, anti-inflammatories also prevent optimal injury healing. Sure, your muscles and tendons heal faster, but they don’t heal as strongly. The leaves you vulnerable to reinjury and the temptation to continue the downward NSAID cycle a second or third time, with even poorer results.

The alternatives?

To enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle while avoiding the dangers of NSAID’s, follow these three steps:

1. Fix your body alignment. Many tendon, muscle and joint injuries occur because of imbalanced control of knee, hip, spine, or shoulder activation. I offer a simple evaluation and therapeutic exercise plan that can address this issue.

2. Gentle connective treatment, especially the use of NeuroTactile® Therapy, alleviates pain and speeds the healing of tendon, joint, and muscle injuries.

3. For positive help for your healing process, try InflammaSelect. This nutritional supplement from Moss Nutrition incorporates three strategies to support your recovery: (1) anti-inflammatory herbs, (2) proteolytic digestive enzymes, and (3) the nutrient building blocks needed to restore healthy tissue. You can get back into action in the short run while strengthening your tissues for the long run.

I urge my patients to maintain a physically active lifestyle and return to activity as soon as possible after an injury. These three simple steps will keep those goals on track.

Dr. Lavine has been an innovator in the use of movement and touch to promote health since 1981. He practices in New York City and Princeton, NJ.


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