Osteoarthritis is a painful and debilitating disease that causes the degeneration of the cartilage between joints. Once the cartilage is worn away, the joints rub against each other, causing tissue and bone damage, and with it, pain.
One standard mode of treatment for this condition has been the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), administered in both oral and topical form; however, a recent study found that topical NSAIDS for osteoarthritis are only beneficial for up to two weeks.
British researchers examined a dozen clinical trials comparing topical NSAIDS with placebo or oral NSAIDS. According to the evidence, topical NSAIDS were more effective than placebo in relieving pain for the first two weeks of treatment, after which time they became virtually ineffective. Moreover, topical NSAIDS were less effective than oral NSAIDS during the first week of treatment and caused additional side-effects, including rash and itching; however, other studies have shown that oral anti-inflammatory drugs can have adverse side-effects when used over long periods of time, including upset stomach and ulcer.
If you suffer from osteoarthritis, regular chiropractic treatments can help manage your pain and discomfort – without the uncomfortable and potentially dangerous side-effects often associated with drugs.
Lin J, Zhang W, Jones A, Doherty M. Efficacy of topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of osteoarthritis: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. British Medical Journal, Aug. 7, 2004 ;392:324.