Anti inflammatories are one of the most effective medication groups for the treatment of musculoskeletal injury and pain.
As with all medications, they do have potential side effects.
As with all medications they can be used safely, but with care.
Issues with anti inflammatories
1. Tummy upset. Prolonged use of these tablets can cause gastritis, reflux and even stomach ulcers. There are some tummy protective versions available if the symptoms are mild. We can also use acid reducing medicine to protect your stomach. Unfortunately, we would not ever recommend using anti inflammatories if you have had a stomach ulcer or have inflammatory bowel disease.
2. Risk of heart attack. This is most marked in males and post menopausal females. The risk is worse if you have other risk factors such as a strong family history, are a smoker, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. There are some anti inflammatories with lower risk, but we do aim to use them for as short a time as possible and not at all if you have other issues.
3. Risk to the kidneys. Because the kidneys metabolise the medication, if they are not functioning well, anti inflammatories can directly damage them further or indirectly damage them through effects on blood pressure and fluid retention.
4. Risk of bleeding. While this is rare, we avoid anti inflammatories before surgery or if you are on any other blood thinning medication.
5. Asthma. Some types of asthma can be worsened by anti inflammatories.

Luckily there are alternatives. Where possible, we use natural options such as supplements. We also have an in depth understanding of the use of topical (cream) compounds to manage pain and alternative medications that will prevent any issues with your other medical conditions and still effectively manage your injury and pain.