Breaking News
Home / Fashion / Health & Fitness / Worried about ibuprofen? Try these 7 things instead

Worried about ibuprofen? Try these 7 things instead

Replay Video

  • The Best Inexpensive Sunscreen

    The best inexpensive sunscreen

    New research suggests that these sunscreens can not only prevent you from getting sunburned. They can prevent you form aging your skin. But that doesn’t mean you have to get burned when you go shopping.

    Money Talks News
  • Study: 54 Percent Of Dog Owners Willing To End Relationship If Pup Doesn’t Like Partner

    Study says: if it’s you or the dog, the dog wins!

    Greg Argos reports.

    CBS Philly

  • A podiatrist explains the terrible things that can happen to your feet if you run too much

    A podiatrist explains the terrible things that can happen to your feet if you run too much

    Podiatric surgeon Dr. Jacqueline Sutera explains some of the short and long-term consequences on your feet if you run too much.

    Business Insider

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen are widely used to treat pain and don’t require a prescription. But recent studies suggest that when taken regularly, these medicines can have serious side effects. They’ve been linked to kidney, bone, hearing and cardiovascular problems-including, most recently, an increased risk of heart attack.

For healthy people with occasional aches, there’s nothing wrong with taking an Advil or an Aleve to relieve discomfort, says Dr. Jyotsna Nagda, a pain specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. But “long-term use of anti-inflammatories is not a good idea,” she says, especially when alternatives are available.

Plus, says Alban Latremoliere, a pain physiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, NSAIDs don’t always work well-which could prompt people to take higher and higher doses when they should be turning to other treatments. “Instead of looking for a pill that works for every type of pain, we need to be thinking about combination approaches that treat the underlying problems,” he says.

If you’re concerned about the level of pain medicine you’re taking, here are a few things you might try instead.

Acetaminophen or aspirin

© Shutterstock Unlike ibuprofen, over-the-counter acetaminophen has not been linked to heart problems. Nagda recommends it to some of her patients-especially elderly ones-who aren’t good candidates for anti-inflammatory medicines.

Still, the drug is not without its own risks. “We recommend it on an as-needed basis, rather than an around-the-clock regimen,” says Nagda. “People should still be careful about the doses, and if they need it somewhat regularly, they should talk to their primary care physician about having their liver function tested.”

Aspirin is another option. While it is an NSAID, studies of regular aspirin use suggest a protective cardiovascular effect, rather than increased risks. (It can, however, cause stomach bleeding and ulcers.) “If someone has regular pain and they’re planning on doing something more strenuous than normal, I might tell them to take an extra-strength aspirin beforehand,” says Nagda.

Omega-3 fatty acids

For arthritis and related conditions, studies show that omega-3 fatty acids-found in fish, fish oil supplements, nuts and seeds-may help reduce pain and inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation recommends taking fish oil capsules with at least 30% omega-3s.

Latremoliere says that following a diet rich in fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains may also ease pain throughout the body, although it won’t likely take the place of pain medicines entirely. “If you make a habit of avoiding foods that promote inflammation and eating foods that help reduce it, it can definitely be helpful,” he says.

Turmeric

Despite a recent review that called into question the benefits of curcumin-the active compound in turmeric-Nagda says that people seeking pain relief may still want to try adding the yellow spice to their diet.

“It has anti-inflammatory properties, and there are some small studies that show benefits for patients with rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis,” she says. It’s safe in quantities used in cooking and flavoring food, so as long as you don’t mind the taste, there’s little downside.

20 Foods That Turn Back Your Metabolic Clock: <p>By April Benshosan</p><p>Think of these foods as Peter Pan’s dirty little secret.</p><p>We’ve discovered the Fountain of Youth—and it’s in your kitchen.</p><p>Although scientists haven’t figured out how to reverse the aging process, they have discovered how to make you live longer and look younger. And the secret is in your food. Meals high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and fat-melting nutrients can stave off any number of diseases, including obesity, and turn back your metabolic clock.</p><p>To keep your metabolism young and revving, and watch the pounds melt away, incorporate these wholesome foods into your diet. And to burn fat even faster, don’t miss these essential <a href="http://www.eatthis.com/best-ways-to-speed-up-your-metabolism">55 Best-Ever Ways to Boost Your Metabolism</a>.</p> 20 Foods That Turn Back Your Metabolic Clock (provided by Eat This! Not That!)

Acupuncture

© Shutterstock This traditional Chinese medicine technique may help reduce pain associated with back pain, neck pain, arthritis, headaches, fibromyalgia pain after surgery, according to research. Not everyone who tries acupuncture improves, says Nagda, but “when you look at risks and benefits compared to other methods like NSAIDs, acupuncture comes out on top with minimal risks.”

While acupuncture’s cost can be prohibitive for many pain sufferers, it is increasingly covered by health insurance-at least in part-as its benefits become clearer. Massage is another approach that’s been shown to to relieve chronic lower back pain.

Exercise and mindful movement

Regular exercise is a good way to ward off chronic pain and to reduce symptoms if it does develop. But certain types of movement may be more beneficial than others.

Tai chi has been shown to benefit people with fibromyalgia, for example, and yoga may help with back pain and arthritis. “Even if these techniques don’t necessarily decrease pain, they may help people cope with it better,” says Nagda.

Nagda also recommends swimming to many of her pain patients, as a way to stay active and flexible without stressing their joints. And for injuries, she stresses the value of using heat and ice and seeing a physical therapist, rather than masking pain with a pill.

Meditation

© Shutterstock In one 2016 study, people who practiced seated meditation for 20 minutes a day had less reaction to a painful stimulus than those who sat and read a book. The research didn’t include people with chronic pain, but the authors say meditation could have potential as an alternative to painkillers like opioid drugs. Other research has shown that mindfulness can reduce a person’s experience of physical pain (and emotional pain, too).

“If you meditate, you’re helping your brain relax and get into a state where some of its regions can be slowed down,” says Nagda. “That might help reduce focus on pain or attention to stimuli, so it makes sense that it might help people feel better.”

More sleep (or coffee, in a pinch)

Latremoliere’s own research in mice, published recently in Nature Medicine, has shown that chronic sleep deprivation can enhance pain sensitivity-and that a dose of caffeine can temporarily reverse those effects. Studies in humans have also suggested that staying awake for long periods of time can lower people’s thresholds for pain and that the equivalent of a few cups of coffee before a workout can reduce perceived muscle pain.

“Our research suggests that if you have chronic pain and you’re not sleeping enough, your pain is probably greater because of that,” says Latremoliere. People should be wary of relying on caffeine to get by, however. “Coffee in the morning might help reduce pain and get you through the day,” he says, “but if you have it at night it could make your sleep, and your pain, even worse.”

This article was originally published on TIME.com

Check Also

The Inspiring Reason Jen Widerstrom Shared an ‘Embarrassing’ Old Photo

© Donna Ward/Getty Images Leave it to Jen Widerstrom to remind us that positivity is …

The 7 injuries doctors see most on summer weekends

© Thomas Barwick via Getty Images Warm weather and longer days will bring many Americans …

Pen pals of 47 years will do anything for each other — even donate a kidney

© Courtesy of Wendy Eldridge, Chuc Over their 47-year friendship, Chuck and Wendy have exchanged …

This Man Lost 60 Pounds, Built Muscle, and Started Feeling Better Than Ever

© Photograph by Facebook.com/Michael Joffa Jeffries Man 60 Pound Weight Loss For years, Australian man …