Why Should You Avoid Anti-Inflammatories?

Why Should You Avoid Anti-Inflammatories?

(Watch the video clip from our workshop below to get the real scoop!)

Inflammation is an essential part of the healing process after an acute soft

tissue injury. It is also an essential part of the reactive inflammatory process that we create in chronic tendinopathy conditions during procedures such as the Graston technique, cupping, and dry needling. Avoiding anti-inflammatory medication as well as icing may be the best strategy during this period and this is the “A” in the P.E.A.C.E acronym that we discussed last week.

It has been shown that these anti-inflammatory interventions actually delay healing and can impede the repair process. Nonsteroidal medications such as Advil and Aleve have been shown to impede the proliferation or rebuilding process after tissue injury or even after orthopedic surgery such as rotator cuff repairs. The evidence shows a decrease in the ability of healing tissue to sustain tensile stress after taking a course of NSAIDs. As a result, the tissue is physiologically weaker…making it more susceptible to re-injury. Some studies even report that during the adaptation process of healing tissues, under the right environment mechanically and chemically, tissue can become even STRONGER than it’s pre-injured level.

So then what should you do? In replace of these interventions, focus on strategies that increase circulation and vascularization of the region. Heat, range of motion, graded exercise and graded pain free loading of the tissues is the best, evidence-based approach to increasing physiological healing, optimizing strength, and preventing future re-injury. As a final note, Acetaminophen, or Tylenol, can also be used as an analgesic to take the edge off of the pain without impeding the healing process.

There have been many random controlled trials as well as systematic meta-analysis that confirm these findings. Refer to the extensive list on our blog page for more details.

Is it time that we follow the science or just continue with our old habits?

Hope this helps!


Click the link below for a complete list of references

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