by dr.g

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When one has an inflamed joint the tendency is to reach for over the counter or prescription medications to reduce that inflammation. Like most processes in the body, inflammation has a purpose. Besides splinting the joint so you do not continue to use it or injure it, inflammatory tissue contains  cells that help to heal the tissues correctly so they are strong and resistant to re-injury.

Using pain medication often masks the pain and allows a person to use the area in ways that often cause further damage. In addition, for certain injuries, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications actually delay or slow down healing.

I’m not suggesting you just grin and bear it or never use medications, but I did want to share several alternatives to the use of medications.

Most people know or have heard of RICE- rest, ice compression and elevation; this can be extremely effective in controlling inflammation and reducing pain without any harmful side effects (unless of course you have an ice allergy which is extremely rare). What many fail to realize is that ice can remain helpful even in chronic painful conditions beyond the first 48 hours.

Proteolytic enzymes are some of my favorite alternatives to prescription and over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. They are extremely safe for the liver and kidneys, do not cause GI bleeding, and do not interfere with the healing process like some of the NSAID’s do.

Finally, one of the most overlooked modalities  for inflammation is chiropractic adjustments. Whether your lower back is inflamed or your ankle, if the joint is misaligned or lacking full movement adjustment to that specific joint can quickly reduce pain and inflammation.

For more detailed explanation on the use of adjustments and proteolytic enzymes check out this article.

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