A recent hunt for alternatives to anti-inflammatory drugs for a client opened my eyes to the range of natural anti-inflammatory products available now.
For anyone who has a chronic inflammatory muscular, nerve or joint condition, or for those of us who injure ourselves from time to time, that’s good news.
Treatment for these types of complaints often includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDS) such as Voltaren, Mobic or Nurofen. NSAIDS reduce pain and inflammation but they’re for short-term use only. Taking them for too long can result in problems such as stomach upset and bleeding. So it’s useful to know that there are alternatives worth trying.
There are lots of brands out there, but one is Orthoplex. Their InflamAid combines natural anti-inflammatories such as ginger, boswellia and curcumin (from turmeric) for mild muscle and joint pain, and their Lymphodran Plus contains quercetin and bromelain for swelling and inflammation.
Both of these also contain vitamin C, which is anti-inflammatory, but for a decent effect you’ll probably need a more potent dose than you’ll find here.
Another good standby is Traumeel cream or gel which has a reputation for helping to relieve muscular and joint pain.
Some pharmacies can also compound products with substances such as PEA (Palmitoylethanolamide). It’s found naturally in our bodies and in some foods, and it’s been shown to be effective in clinical trials for treating a range of neuropathic conditions.
My aim isn’t to present any of these as solutions for anyone. It’s purely to say that there may be more options than you realise, so go looking. Naturopaths — especially those working in pharmacies — can provide valuable guidance.
Be prepared to try different options though. It’s likely to take some trial and error.