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Joint Pain Forum – News you can use!

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Pain Medication Safety Not Guaranteed


S. Torkos, B.S.Phm..

Americans spend millions on pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs. More medications are purchased for the control of arthritis symptoms than for any other disorder. Despite the popularity of the various arthritic medications, their safety is not guaranteed.

The most commonly used class of drugs for arthritis is the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Long-term NSAID use causes hundreds of deaths and is associated with thousands of hospitalizations due to side effects such as stomach ulcers and bleeds. There is also evidence that NSAIDs are counterproductive to joint health. A study published in The Lancet found that NSAIDs contribute to cartilage destruction.

Another class of NSAIDS, called Cox-2 inhibitors, has been in the news. Vioxx and Bextra have been removed from the market due to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Celebrex, still prescribed today, has been linked to death and numerous cases of severe gastrointestinal bleeding.

Natural Remedies to Stop Inflammation

Many nutrients and herbs calm the inflammatory response to allow healing. The most researched include Celadrin, curcumin and fish oils.


One of the newest, most effective, natural anti-inflammatory products is Celadrin, a patented blend of special fatty acids. Results of a double-blind, multi-center, placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of Rheumatology (JOR) found that Celadrin, when taken orally, improved joint and mobility problems. Participants taking Celadrin had more flexibility, fewer aches, less pain and were able to walk longer distances than the placebo group.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut studied the effectiveness of Celadrin cream in 42 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Tests of physical function included stair climbing, muscle strength and endurance, and mobility of the knee. The group receiving Celadrin had outstanding results with reduced pain and stiffness, improved balance and strength and better mobility. Some benefits were noticed within 30 minutes of applying the cream. Results of this study were published in the JOR (August 2002.) Those using the oral form of Celadrin and the cream together experienced a much faster improvement in pain, swelling and mobility than those using the cream alone.

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Esteemed by Ayurvedic practitioners for centuries, turmeric contains anti-inflammatory curcuminoids which reduce pain by blocking the enzymes that cause inflammation and inhibiting the breakdown of arachidonic acid. Several studies have shown dramatic improvements in symptoms experienced by rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Turmeric is also an antioxidant. Researchers at the University of California found that curcumin, in both low and high doses, reduced the inflammatory immune factors secreted in the brain. This finding means turmeric shows great promise for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and memory decline.

Fish Oils Omega-3s EPA and DHA Halt Inflammation

The first scientific paper describing the use of fish oil for treating rheumatoid arthritis was published in the 18th century. Since then, numerous studies have revealed the beneficial effects of fish oil on various inflammatory conditions. The benefits were attributed to the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are incorporated into the cellular membranes and compete with arachidonic acid which creates inflammation in the body.

A 1998 research review confirmed the beneficial effects of fish oil in the treatment of arthritis. Fish oil reduces arthritis symptoms such as pain, number of affected joints and morning stiffness. It also appears that fish oil will help reduce the amount of NSAIDs needed.

For those suffering with arthritis it is important to be aware of your treatment options. Medications, while helpful for some, can be associated with many side effects. Natural products such as Celadrin, Curcumin and Fish oils can offer great benefits and better tolerability.

Sherry Torkos, B. Sc, Phm is a pharmacist, author and certified fitness instructor. As a leading health expert, she has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public, and is frequently interviewed on radio and TV throughout North America. She has authored eight books, including The Glycemic Index Made Simple (Wiley, 2007), Winning at Weight Loss (Wiley, 2005) and Breaking the Age Barrier (Penguin Books, 2003). Sherry received her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992, and lives in the Niagara region of Ontario.

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