Pain Relief: Is There an Alternative?


Do you rely on Vioxx, Celebrex or Aleve (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs) to ease pain? If you suffer from inflammatory arthritis or pain due to injuries, you probably are familiar with one of these drugs. No doubt you have also heard recent reports linking some NSAIDs with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Belonging to a class called Cox-2 inhibitors, the drugs in question work by reducing inflammation and pain, while having a minimal effect on stomach bleeding and ulcers. But several studies have raised questions as to the long-term consequences of using Vioxx, Celebrex, Aleve and, possibly, other drugs in this classification. What are the facts and do you have an alternative for pain relief?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

- "FDA is issuing an advisory because of recently released data from controlled clinical trials showing that the COX-2 selective agents (Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra) may be associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events (heart attack and stroke) especially when they are used for long periods of time or in very high risk settings (immediately after heart surgery)." Dec. 23, 2004

- "Also, as FDA announced earlier this week, preliminary results from a long-term clinical trial (up to three years) suggest that long-term use of a non-selective NSAID, naproxen (sold as Aleve, Naprosyn and other trade name and generic products), may be associated with an increased cardiovascular (CV) risk compared to placebo." Dec. 23, 2004

The Results:

- Vioxx was voluntarily pulled from the market September 30, 2004.

- The FDA notified healthcare professionals to consider the risk that cardiovascular events may be increased in patients receiving Celebrex.

- The FDA urged consumers buying over-the-counter medications such as Aleve, to strictly follow label directions.

- The FDA is analyzing all available information from recent studies to determine whether additional regulatory action is needed.

Ice Therapy: A Pain Relief Alternative

In this day and age when taking a pill might seem like the easiest solution, it's not always the best. Is there an alternative to medication for pain relief? Yes! One of the oldest and safest methods of controlling pain and inflammation is ice therapy. Proven to be effective at reducing swelling, numbing pain and decreasing muscle spasms, ice therapy is an easy self-care technique. Compared to the medications discussed, ice therapy has no side effects, including the fear of heart complications.

Most doctors and therapists recommend using an ice pack to treat acute and chronic pain, as well as help with joint inflammation.* Using an ice pack immediately after an injury occurs can dramatically reduce recovery time. Every runner knows that icing sore knees after a long run will get them back in the race faster. Ice is also one of the best ways to reduce swelling and bruising after surgery.

What is the best type of ice therapy to use? The easiest is a plastic bag filled with ice and water. But this can be a messy method that does not conform to joints. Some people use a bag of frozen peas. Better -- but not reusable. Plus frozen peas defrost quickly, leaving a soggy mush. A more reliable ice therapy is a commercial cold pack. There are many available with each brand having its own range of features.

If you have decided to decrease your use of pain medication and want a reliable method of ice therapy, look for a commercial cold pack with the following benefits:

- Stays cold for 1 to 2 hours. This allows you to have several icing sessions without wasting time returning it to the freezer.

- Molds flexibly to help you ice rounded areas of the body such as knees and elbows.

- Can be reused many times, which saves you money and offers peace of mind that your ice therapy will be there when you need it.

- Melts like ice. A cold pack that lasts a long time will numb your pain and protect your skin against frostbite better than one that lasts only 30 minutes. Short-lasting ice packs deliver a hard hit of cold with a dramatic drop in temperature, which can hurt your skin.

- Is non-toxic (free of chemicals and dyes) and latex-free to keep you safe from poisoning and skin irritation.

- Has a versatile cover to protect your skin from too much cold.

- Easy to use on any part of the body, again saving you money because there is no need to buy different ice pack sizes or covers to fit different body parts.

Next time you feel a knee twinge or your lower back pain is acting up, reach for an ice pack instead of pain medication. It may save your life!

Ruling from the FDA:
http://www.fda.gov/

*Special Note: if you have problems with circulation or diabetes, you should consult with your doctor before applying ice therapy.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical treatment or consultation. Always consult with your physician in the event of a serious injury.

About the Author:
Louise Roach: health and fitness editor, marketing specialist, and product development consultant.


More Resources

Just The Tea FAQs: Health Benefits (Part I)
Hands up all those who can't get through the day without their shots of coffee..
How to Use Natural Remedies for Ulcers Caused by Helicobacter Pylori
One of the bacteria that live in your mouth and cause gingivitis is the helicobacter pylori or H. pylori.
Health Improvements for Your Family
Your husband always seems tired. Your son is always hungry.
Cure for Shingles
Shingles is a patch of painful blisters that appear on one side of the body. These blisters are filled with fluid.
Alter Your Perceptions
This article first appeared in The Sept. 2004 issueof The ZoneNet newsletterNo matter how fast we run, many of us are haunted by the urge to look back.
Acid Reflux and Heartburn Natural Remedies Part II
If you have acid reflux or heartburn, using natural remedies to rebalance your stomach is what nature intended. Listed are four natural remedies that you can use to rebalance the acid in your stomachCinnamonCinnamon has many medicinal uses aside from being great for various pastries.
What Happens During a Pain Relief Visualization Session
A visualization session is an hour-long conversation with your subconscious about what visualization statements you may be able to use to help relieve your pain. Here's how the session works.
Home Saunas and Kits: Benefits, Pre-Planning, and Purchasing Tips
For quite some time now home saunas have gained massive popularity across the United States. A tradition first followed by the Finns about a thousand years back, the benefits of saunas have caught on in the United States with a lot of acclaim and acceptance.
Understanding Massage Therapy
We've all heard of massage and many of us have even experienced it, in one form or another. By a masseuse who happened to be an armature, loved one or professional.
Holistic Methods: Hemp Seed Oil and Aromatherapy in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Aromatherapy is a well known holistic method for healing, but when boosted by the quickly penetrating carrier hemp seed oil, the healing potential is magnified exponentially. No other carrier oil can take the beneficial medicinal qualities of aromatic essential oils as quickly through the epidermis as hemp seed oil, so if your lotions and salves are missing it, you're not doing your body justice, but it's not too late?.
New Age Torture
I'll admit it ..
The Simplest Asthma Solution
During the Democratic convention the Reverend Al Sharpton quoted a shocking statistic: One third of the children in Harlem suffer from asthma. This shouldn't be completely surprising since asthma cases have been consistently increasing over the years, especially in the cities, escalating recently during the rollback of some key environmental laws, but it is a trend we must turn back.
Natural Medicine--Finding a Qualified Naturopath
Naturopathic medicine is currently the fastest growing segment of the alternative health movement but not everyone practicing this branch of "natural" medicine is qualified to do so. I like to group naturopaths according to their educational backgrounds because I believe that the quality of your naturopath's education directly affects the quality of care you'll receive.
How To Rid Your Home Of The Nations #1 Health Menace
With today's new building procedures, our homes are more dangerous than ever before!Scientific evidence now shows that the air inside our homes is 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. And because we spend about 90 percent of our time inside, indoor air quality has become one of the top environmental health threats in the country.
Homeopathy - Five Things to Know before You 'Go There'
With natural health care so popular, an area that has shown incredible growth is that of homeopathic medicine. But, although you can find homeopathic remedies on health food store shelves, are you really clear on what a homeopathic specialist is and what these medicines can do? This article will address five things to know before you choose a homeopathic specialist or buy those homeopathic medicines off the shelf.
Frankincense in Aromatherapy - Trees, Pearls, and Essential Oil
The Mysterious FrankincenseUsed for many thousands of years, the Frankincense tree has perhaps the greatest association with spiritualpractice of any plant on earth. In most of the great ancient cultures,including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Hebrew, Greek and Roman civilizations, it has played a role inreligious and domestic life.
Some O. H. & S. For You To Consider
Clicking a mouse isn't exactly vigorous exercise, so I thought we might consider a little Occupational Health and Safety. If you're like me, you spend quite a few hours each day 'slaving over a hot computer' - and it's probably one the most sedantary things you can do.
What Causes Osteoporosis and Ten Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis
Ten Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to ReduceYour Risk for Osteoporosis Stop or decrease your meat intake.Stop or decrease your dairy intake.
Smoking-Quit with Whispers and Acupuncture
Do you want to stop smoking badly enough to try? If you do, start now. Don't wait for what happened to my friend Waleed.
Diet Food Stinks!
One big thing that can keep you from eating healthy is the idea of the food. People often think it sucks and doesn't taste good.

More Alternative Information:

Related Articles

The Raindrop Technique Massage
Raindrop Technique is a procedure for applying therapeutic grade essential oils to the feet, back and spine. It is a form of aromatherapy.
How to Use a Footbath with Herbs
Recently I read a book by William L. Fischer called "Hidden Secrets of Super Perfect Health at Any Age", Book II, 1986.
Mental Health Maintenance Is Made Simple
Your mental health is often drastically improved when you use the techniques Dr. Kuhn teaches in this article.
What Happens During a Pain Relief Visualization Session
A visualization session is an hour-long conversation with your subconscious about what visualization statements you may be able to use to help relieve your pain. Here's how the session works.
Do You Have Difficulty in Waking Up On Dark Winter Mornings?
Our daily internal body clocks or circadian rhythms synchronise the timing of our wake/sleep patterns and our interactions with the outside world.Our body clocks are naturally conditioned and cued to respond to light signals or 'zeitbeigers' to awake at sunrise and sleep at night.
Constipation: the Fast, Easy Answer to Something No One Talks About
Everyone jokes about constipation, but it's no joke if you're the one suffering from it. And "suffering" is the right word for it! It's a miserable feeling.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils for Physical and Psychological Well-being
What is Aromatherapy?It is the practice of using volatile plant oils (and essential oils) for physical and psychological well-being.Before I get started take note that fragrance oils (fragrances) are not essential oils.
You Can Stop Biting Your Nails, Heres How!
Are you tired of being self-conscious about your hands and nails? I know exactly what you're going through because I've been there. Did you notice I said, "I've been there".
How I Overcame Anxiety/Panic Attacks
Has this ever happened to you, out of the blue, for apparently no reason at all? You suddenly start experiencing any or all of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort such as tightness, lightheaded, dizziness, faint, palpitations, a pounding heart, sweating, trembling or shaking, a choking sensation, nausea or stomach cramps, numbness or a tingling sensation, chills or hot flashes.Then you experience a fear of losing control or goingcrazy and even a fear of dying.
Does A Compulsive Gambler Really Want To Stop Gambling?
This question most gamblers ask themselves when they begin to realize gambling has affected their lives.Most gamblers intent is not to lose all their money, but rather to win big and buy all those materialist items they have always dreamed of.
Cold Laser Therapy: Hope for Arthritis
Having had the rare, first-hand opportunity to observe cold laser therapy treatment in action, I am impressed at its remarkable ability to help in healing with rheumatoid arthritis.As my dad suffers from various maladies, including having a heart defibrilator.
An Aspirin A Day Can Give You Cancer
I want to share a health alert with you. So many people today are taking an aspirin a day - many upon the recommendation of their doctors and many simply because they think it is the "healthy" thing to do.
Constipation Relieved Naturally
Constipation is a problem that affects many Americans every day. Constipation is mainly due to poor eating habits, insufficient exercise, not getting enough fiber and not drinking enough water.
Alternative Medicine is Holistic, Western Medicine is Reductionist
The major difference between alternative medicine, or what I'll call holistic health, and Western medicine, is in approach.A Western doctor, or MD, sees his duty as searching out disease, diagnosing it, and treating it.
Alternative Health Practitioner, How to Pick the Perfect Help for You
Therapists, physicians, acupuncturists, massage therapists, body workers and energy workers need to be interviewed and checked out just like your roofer!I don't know about you but finding a good roofer is might-near-impossible.Psychological outcome research has shown that half of the therapists make us better and the other half makes us worse.
The Future of Healing...
Your FUTURE is NOT in a doctor's office or a vial of prescription drugs.Western medicine has done a wonderful job in treating our symptoms and masking the pain of physical imbalances with drugs that cost a small fortune.
Liver Spring Cleansing
The liver is the second largest organ in the body and the skin is the first. Every year, you can make sure your liver is healthy by doing a liver cleanse during spring.
Treat Cold, Flu, and Ear Infection the Natural Way
With or without medication, the cold or the flu can give you real trouble. You can choose from a variety of medications that can give you some relief in symptoms or you can take the natural approach that may prevent, speed your recovery and help you to feel better along the way.
Eucalyptus: The Way to Smoother Breathing
The eucalyptus is a popular Australian remedy that was first introduced to the world by the aborigines as a treatment for many kinds of ailments. Its uses range from treating wounds, suppressing colds, relaxing the mind to repelling insects.
Contact Lenses Explained And Compared To Glasess
Many people over the past ten years have changed from glasses to contact lenses but are they really worth it? This is a question that you need to answer for yourself. Many people change to contacts as they find them less expensive to purchase and certainly less expensive to replace.