Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed for joint pain. However, there are other options available. One form of treatment gaining momentum is that of massage – a drug-free alternative that can be recommended to all patients, no matter what their age or ailment. And, as scientific literature shows, it can be a highly effective form of pain relief.
The downsides of NSAIDs
When a patient seeks medical help for joint pain, the standard advice is typically – lose weight, exercise more and take pain relief, usually in the form of (NSAIDs), such as Naproxen.
Yet there are downsides to taking NSAIDS. Firstly, they’re not suitable for everyone. According to the NHS website, Naproxen is not recommended for those who –
- Have had an allergic reaction to aspirin or NSAIDs
- Have, or have had, stomach ulcers, bleeding in the stomach/intestines or holes in the stomach
- Have high blood pressure
- Have severe kidney or liver failure
- Have severe heart failure or other heart problems
- Have Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis
- Have lupus
- Have a blood clotting disorder
- Are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant or breastfeeding
That rules out a significant number of people. Then, there are the possible side effects, including –
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in vision
- Tiredness and feeling sleepy
Some people even suffer serious problems as a result of taking Naproxen, such as fainting, vomiting blood and jaundice. Evidently for some patients, the downsides of NSAIDs far outweigh the benefits.
Exercise and weight loss
So, what about exercise and weight loss? Sadly, these are easier said than done. A patient with agonising knee pain is unlikely to go for a brisk walk, for the simple reason that it hurts. It is extremely difficult to exercise when it causes such a great amount of pain, making weight loss a near impossible task.
This makes for quite a bleak picture. The patient may be unwilling (or unable) to take NSAIDs, yet the notion of weight loss and exercise is also out of reach. But what other options are there?
Massage for joint pain
One alternative that is rarely pushed by pharmaceutical companies is massage. This is hardly surprising, seeing as it is unlikely to attract much money. Yet the benefits of massage are clearly documented in scientific studies, particularly as a form of pain relief.
One such study by G.C.Goats, published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, demonstrates that massage reduces pain, restores normal muscle activity and re-establishes function. This makes it an effective tool for rehabilitation and performance maintenance.
Arthritis Research UK also recommends massage for a variety of purposes, including relieving muscular tension, improving circulation and reducing pain levels.
Massage is not a miracle cure. Like other forms of treatment, it will work for some but not for others. However, the beauty of massage is that there are no unpleasant side effects. It is suitable for everyone, no matter what their age, gender or physical condition. The underlying source of the joint pain is also irrelevant. Massage has shown to be effective for all kinds of patients, from athletes with sports injuries to elderly patients needing hip replacements.
Massage is also financially accessible. There is no need to pay a massage therapist. It is something that can be done at home, entirely free of charge.
CannaFlex massage oil
While modern medicine is fantastic, medication is not always the answer. At Marble Hill, we have seen first-hand how more holistic remedies – such as massage – have greatly benefitted those in pain. Even better, there are no nasty side effects.
That is why we have developed CannaFlex massage oil in conjunction with Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Henry McGee. This oil is ideal for those wanting to try massage as a form of pain relief. It contains no synthetic materials, only natural ingredients. This provides added skin care benefits. It can also be used alongside other medication.
Therefore, patients have nothing to lose by trying massage as a method of pain relief. Yet there could be a great deal to gain.