Aches and Pains: The Dangers
Arthritis and/or joint pain can be one of the most debilitating ailments to suffer with, causing a great deal of pain. Sports injuries are also particularly devastating - often requiring long-term treatment. But are the risks of conventional painkillers known to you? Is the possibility of a pain-free existence worth the hidden dangers and side effects?
A disturbing article in the New York Times highlights the risk of pain medications and the extreme caution (that unfortunately only some) doctors are taking when prescribing heavy painkillers to patients. Why? The fact remains that when it comes to painkillers, every individual is different regarding how the painkiller will react with his or her body. This can lead to devastating side effects. In America, Tylenol (common for pain relief and the equivalent of our Panado) contains acetaminophen - a harmful substance for the liver. Unintentional overdoses of Tylenol make up 50% of the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Furthermore, it seems taking painkillers on a regular basis may be very dangerous.
Here in South Africa, News24 reported that 'one of our university hospitals recently admitted a 42 year old ...who took paracetamol on a regular basis [for pain relief] and who had taken 4 tablets of paracetamol, with a glass of port wine. Three days later she died from liver failure…' Paracetamol, Asprin and Codeine in this country all carry strict warnings about dependency and misuse and yet we seem to think of these medications as harmless and a 'quick fix' with these meds being a staple in every desk drawer or bathroom!
So, one might be tempted to then try an anti-inflammatory. However, there is evidence in studies that continued use of anti-inflammatories can actually increase cartilage degeneration! The hard fact is that NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Voltaren and Iboprufen, hold equal risk. In America, Vioxx was yanked from the market in 2004 after it was linked to an increased risk for heart attacks. Bextra came off the market a few months later due to cardiovascular effects and a link to a potentially fatal skin disease. Soon all the NSAIDs fell under a cloud of suspicion, and it remains today. Finnish researchers reported in 2006 that use of all NSAIDs (even the traditional ones) increased the user’s risk of having a heart attack. Amongst the other risks of NSAIDs: they tend to boost blood pressure and may also cause gastrointestinal problems such as bleeding.
The Analgesia/Pain Syndrome
This is alarming! When one takes analgesics or painkillers, the brain is fooled into thinking there is no pain - the pain centre of the brain is temporarily shut down. This may sound like a wonderful solution, BUT as soon as the painkillers are stopped, the body has learned to signal for pain, to get the painkillers and the relief! This is why many people report 'not being able to give up' pain medications, they are trapped in a terrible cycle with the pain centre of the brain!
So what't the good news? For many years research has shown that natural ingredients, such as Glucosamine, Magnesium oil can have thoroughly successful results in eliminating and reducing pain in muscles and joints, without the side effects of conventional medications. Natural medications get to work on the tissues and muscles beneath the skin - and therefore do not interrupt the normal job of the pain centre in the brain - so your brain is still able to tell you when you are injured, which is a good thing!
What the research says: The miracle of Magnesium oil, Arnica and Glucosamine
According to The Natural Standard (and authoritative and impartial research database), Glucosamine is given the highest evidence rating for treatment of pain due to knee osteoarthritis. Unlike NSAIDS that cause cartilage degeneration, Glucosamine in fact, promotes cartilage growth and health. There are numerous studies on Glucosamine for pain relief, including: joint pain due to breast cancer treatment, osteoarthritis and the use of the ingredient in sports medicine for injury.
Magnesium (included in the Magneisum Oil Spray) has been studied independently for the ability to treat sore joints. In one such study, eighty patients with soft tissue calcification were treated with Magnesium: 24 suffered from myositis ossificans traumatica, 23 from calcific bursitis (Duplay’s disease), six from osteoarthropathy of elbow joint after severe craniocerebral trauma, nine from calcification around the elbow joint after local trauma, 13 from calcification around the hip joint, and five from calcification in ligaments and tendons. Very good functional improvement followed in affected joints. The treatment lasted 2-20 weeks with no complications or side effects.
Soft tissue calcification treated with local and oral magnesium therapy. Steidl L, Ditmar R. Neurological and Orthopaedic Clinic of Palacký University, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia. PMID:2133625 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
In an open multicenter trial, the safety and efficacy of Arnica montana fresh plant gel for joint pain was tested. Applied twice daily, in 26 men and 53 women with mild to moderate osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, showed that after 3 and 6 weeks, significant decreases in were evident in the intention-to-treat pain, stiffness, and function.
(Arnica montana gel in osteoarthritis of the knee: An open, multicenter clinical trial. Otto Knuesel M.D., Michel Weber Dr.Sc.Nat., Andy Suter M.Sc.)