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Managing Joint Pain and Stiffness

by Danielle Fryer, RDN, CSCS

Do you manage joint pain with ibuprofen or naproxen? Here’s the down on dirty about how these over the counter drugs may be affecting your cartilage.

Many studies from the American Journal of Medicine show that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil) and indomethacin may speed up the breakdown of cartilage in osteoarthritic joints. NSAIDS may also inhibit tissue repair. However, not all studies show that NSAIDs damage cartilage. It may depend on the specific NSAID. Further studies have concluded that older adults, a group commonly with osteoarthritic joints, that used NSAIDS including diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen (Aleve), ketoprofen and piroxicam, for extended periods of time, have higher risks of cartilage defects and nonsignificant loss of cartilage compared to nonusers.

Athletes, older adults, overweight individuals and those that have been very active their whole lives usually develop osteoarthritis due to the “wear and tear” on the joints that lead to join pain and stiffness.

Professional advice: Use as little NSAIDs as possible to manage your pain! Do not mistaken my advice as permission to substitute with pharmaceutical drugs. Instead, ask your orthopedist about your use and consult a sports dietitian, strength coach, and yoga teacher for more information about managing your joint pain with quality nutrition and mobility training.


Published by AZ foothills magazine HERE

Published by The Gadsden Times HERE

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