Whether it’s a cranky shoulder, bum knee or a cantankerous finger, chronic arthritis pain is a daily struggle for many folks.
And if you’re taking a prescription NSAID to battle the pain, you’re in good company.
Lots of average Americans who are trying to avoid dangerous opioid drugs take these anti-inflammatories every day.
But what many folks don’t realize is NSAIDs come with some serious risks of their own. Especially when you swallow them daily to combat arthritis pain. Stomach bleeding, brain bleeding, kidney damage and heart attacks top the list.
Yes, heart attacks. Studies have found using these drugs repeatedly for a week or longer can send your heart attack risk soaring.
And now new research may have uncovered one of the reasons why.
Arthritis pain relievers could raise heart risk
Scientists are warning about a dangerous new threat linked to prescription strength NSAIDs. Taking them regularly can send your risk for an irregular heart beat soaring by 18 percent.
Known as atrial fibrillation, this condition causes the top chambers of your heart to beat chaotically, or out of rhythm. And it makes you more likely to suffer a dangerous, or deadly, stroke or heart attack.
The new study focused on prescription dosages of NSAIDs. But as I’ve explained before it’s easy to overdo when taking painkillers. Which is why it’s so common.
In fact, if you’re a regular Healthier Talk reader you may recall I warned you about NSAID overdoses recently. A recent study found 15 percent of Americans are swallowing dangerously high doses of these painkillers.
In other words. if over the counter NSAIDs are your arthritis pain relievers of choice, you may already be taking a prescription strength dosage without even realizing it.
Natural arthritis pain relievers are a safer option
Now I’m no stranger to pain myself. I’ve told you before about my own bum knee. So I get it. If you’re battling arthritis pain, I know you need pain relief to function.
Occasionally taking an NSAID for a headache or sprain isn’t going to hurt you, of course. But if you’re suffering with chronic pain, you need another solution.
And you can start with one that has worked for me. Turmeric.
A recent study found that curcumin—the active ingredient in turmeric—can be every bit as effective at relieving pain from sports injuries as NSAIDs.
And the natural anti-inflammatory does it without those dangerous side effects that come with the drugs. Just make sure you choose a supplement that also contains piperine, a black pepper extract that helps your body absorb the curcumin better so you get all the benefits.
Proven pain relief without the drug risks
Now not every solution works for everyone. So if turmeric doesn’t take enough of the edge off other proven natural arthritis pain relievers could help.
Ginger contains 12 different inflammation fighting compounds. Some of which tackle COX-2, an enzyme which causes inflammation and pain. And others that address pain receptors and tackle nerve ending sensitivity.
In a lab study, researchers compared the effect cortisone, the NSAID ibuprofen and a ginger extract had on joint cells from folks with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The ginger tackled inflammatory substances called cytokines just as effectively as the cortisone and beat the ibuprofen by a mile (which had no effect on the cytokines at all).
In another study comparing ginger to pain relieving drugs the ginger slashed pain in muscles and joints by as much as 25 percent. And a meta-analysis of several studies confirmed ginger could provide measurable, and safe, pain relief for folks suffering from osteoarthritis.
You can eat some fresh ginger daily, drink homemade ginger tea or try a supplement.
If you’re battling pain triggered by inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, astaxanthin—a naturally-occurring carotenoid extracted from marine plants and animals—could help.
This powerful antioxidant slashes painful inflammation. But its benefits don’t end there. It also fights free radicals, which means it can also help minimize future damage.
Astaxanthin is available online, or anywhere supplements are sold. It’s also often used as an ingredient in more comprehensive pain relief formulas, so be sure to read labels.
3. UC-II collagen:
Undenatured Type II Collagen, or UC-11, is a natural collagen that comes from chicken cartilage. Studies have shown it has significant joint benefits and can slash pain.
In one study, UC-II even performed better than the old standby glucosamine and chondroitin. Both supplements were effective. Folks taking the glucosamine and chondroitin combo had a 15 percent reduction in their pain. But the lucky group who got the UC-II had their pain plummet by a remarkable 40 percent.
In another study, the supplement effectively prevented the joint discomfort that can come with exercise or physical activity. Folks taking the collagen had significant improvements in the range of motion in their effected knees. Plus they were able to walk on a stair machine for far longer than they were able to before taking the supplement.
UC-II is available as a standalone supplement, or as part of more comprehensive pain relief formulas.
Swear off the dangerous drugs, skip the surgeries and try one of these proven effective natural arthritis pain relievers instead.