My Doctor has prescribed me anti-inflammatory medication – is this the correct path to take?
Very often when visiting a Doctor with minimal musculoskeletal experience they will often reach for the closest tool at hand which is frequently NSAIDs otherwise known as Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. This approach can be very effective at reducing inflammation within damaged tissues and therefore reducing pain and eventually improving function. However, it is important to note that the inflammatory reaction is an important step in the healing process after injury and the use of medication can in some cases hinder the long term healing process- a key to the best recovery results. Therefore it should be taken with this in mind and in moderation.
Of course, if you are unable to sleep, eat or perform any normal daily functions that we take for granted then it is probably worth sacrificing the long term in order to gain in the short-term. If its just a niggle then its probably best to find an alternative.
What are the alternatives?
An alternative to anti-inflammatory medication is the RICE (Rest, ice, compress, elevate) principal – this is cheap and easily obtained and as long as it is applied with a modicum of common sense there are no nasty side effects to consider. There are treatment options your Physiotherapist could also pursue such as ultrasound and soft tissue mobilization techniques.
If you are unsure that NSAIDs are the correct thing for your condition then engage your Doctor in a discussion and stop by your local Physio Savvy branch for an assessment and treatment.