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Anti-Inflammatories for back pain?

Back pain will affect approximately 80% of the population at some point in their life. Many people reach straight for the anti-inflammatories when they get pain, but are they the best option and can they be harmful?Anti-inflammatoriesObviously addressing the cause of the pain is the best course of action so booking a consultation with us should be your first choice.

Call 0118 966 4431 or email info@goddardchiropractic.co.uk to book a consultation and find out how we can help you.


But sometimes it is necessary to take the edge off the pain to be able to get through the day.

Recently there has been much talk and many articles in the newspapers about the dangers of taking anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen, Nurofen and other Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). They talk about the risks and side effects –

Common side effects of Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs) include:

•Stomach pain and heartburn

•Stomach ulcers

•A tendency to bleed more, especially when taking aspirin.

•Headaches and dizziness

•Ringing in the ears

•Allergic reactions such as rashes, wheezing, and throat swelling

•Liver or kidney problems.

•High blood pressure

•Leg swelling

– and more recently a studies have been produced on how NSAIDs can increase your risk of having a Heart Attack.




So with the associated risks of these other health issues I have looked into other reported Natural Anti-inflammatories which you may be able to eat/take with less harmful side effects.

Hippocrates said “let your food be your medicine.”


These below are some of the food which have been reported to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

Oily fish

Oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation.

Not a fan of seafood? Fish oil supplements may help lower inflammation. Also, reduce your intake of omega-6 fatty acids (found in processed foods and some vegetable oils); a healthy balance between omega-3s and omega-6s is essential.

Nordic Oil High Grade Omega 3 are available from our reception.

Dark leafy greens

Vitamin E may be key in protecting the body against pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. One of the best sources of this vitamin is dark green veggies, such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale and broccoli. Dark greens and cruciferous vegetables also have higher concentrations of certain nutrients—like calcium, iron and disease-fighting flavonoids—than veggies with lighter-coloured leaves.


Another source of inflammation-fighting healthy fats is nuts. Almonds are particularly rich in fibre, calcium and vitamin E, and walnuts have high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fat. All nuts are packed with antioxidants that can help your body fight off and repair the damage caused by inflammation.

Garlic and onions 

There’s good reason these pungent vegetables are considered anti-inflammatory superstars. Organosulfur compounds derived from garlic may lower the production of substances in the blood that boost inflammation. Quercetin, a flavonoid in onions, helps inhibit inflammation-causing agents at play in arthritis.


One of the very most effective and potent natural anti-inflammatory agents is curcumin, derived from turmeric root. Turmeric is a yellow spice native to Asia, widely enjoyed as both a food and a dye. Extensively well studied for its anti-inflammatory powers, curcumin is scientifically proven to be highly effective at relieving pain, and very safe. Like the NSAID’s, curcumin inhibits COX2. But unlike the NSAID’s, it does not do so selectively. Instead, curcumin also affects the activity of other key factors in inflammation, including NF-kappaB, PPAR Gamma transcription factors, and 5-LOX. By inhibiting the activity of all these aspects of inflammation, curcumin delivers far superior anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving activity than most drugs.


Ginger root, another common spice, also contains a number of scientifically proven pain relieving agents. Ginger contains a protein-digesting enzyme called zingibain, which appears to relieve arthritis pain by reducing inflammation. In fact, the anti-inflammatory activity of ginger compares favorably with aspirin. Ginger root is also rich in two groups of compounds known as the shaogals and gingerols. These compounds are powerfully antioxidant, thus helping to prevent cells from premature destruction due to exposure to environmental toxins and by-products of metabolism. Even more, these compounds are potent anti-inflammatory agents, and are proven to relieve inflammation throughout the body. Given that oxidation and inflammation are part and parcel of all chronic degenerative diseases, ginger can play a key role in disease risk reduction.


Pineapple contains bromelain, the enzyme which acts as a meat tenderizer as well as a powerful anti-inflammatory. What researchers have noted is that many anti-inflammatory foods act not necessarily by reducing inflammation directly, but by alleviating symptoms that can eventually cause inflammation. Bromelain has been found to be beneficial in reducing asthmatic symptoms through decreasing the spread of proinflammatory metabolites and relieving post-exercise inflammation by helping to repair and resolve muscle soreness through its significant levels of potassium. While all parts of the pineapple contain this magical compound, most of the bromelain in pineapple is in the stem. Because the stem is a little on the tough side, you can blend or juice the core with the sweeter flesh to reap the bloat-beating benefits.

Coconut Oil

One of the lesser-known benefits of coconut oil is that it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory food. The fats found in cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil are teeming with anti-inflammatory properties, according to a study published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology.

There are many more foods reported to offer anti-inflammatory effects, but these are a few I have heard most about.








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