Anti-Inflammatory Medications and Prolotherapy

Ross Hauser, MDRoss Hauser, MD

Anti-inflammatory medicine, like Motrin, Advil, aspirin, Clinoril, Volteran, prednisone, and cortisone, all inhibit the healing process of soft tissues. The long term detrimental effects far outweigh the temporary positive effect of decreased pain. Aspirin does have a beneficial effect on the heart, but a detrimental effect on soft tissue healing. When a ligament or tendon is injured, prostaglandins are released which initiate vasodilation in non-injured blood vessels. This enables healthy blood vessels to increase blood flow and immune cell flow to the injured area to begin the repair process. The use of anti-inflammatories inhibits the release of prostaglandins thus ultimately decreasing the blood flow to the injured area.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been shown to produce short-term pain relief but leave long-term loss of function. NSAIDs also inhibit proteoglycan synthesis, a component of ligament and cartilage tissue. Proteoglycans are essential for the elasticity and compressive stiffness of articular cartilage see also Articular Cartilage Growth (see research paper) and suppression of their synthesis has significant adverse effects on the joint.

NSAID prescription for acute soft tissue injury is considered standard practice. The administration of NSAIDs, in combination with the RICE treatment, nearly eliminates the body’s ability to heal. Is it any wonder so many people live with chronic pain? In our opinion the current medical treatment for acute soft tissue injuries is contributing to this epidemic.

NSAIDs are the mainstay treatment for acute ligament and tendon injuries, yet efficacy in their usefulness is lacking. Worse yet is the long-term use by people with chronic pain. Studies in the use of NSAIDs for chronic hip pain revealed an acceleration of arthritis in the people taking NSAlDs.

The end result of taking NSAIDs for pain relief is an arthritic joint. How many times has Motrin or any other NSAID cured a person of his or her pain? Prolotherapy eliminates the cause of chronic pain and often cures the person’s pain. Even long-term aspirin use has been associated with accelerating hip damage from arthritis.

NSAIDs are truly anti-inflammatory in their mechanism of action. Since all issues heal by Inflammation, one can see why long-term use of these medications will have harmful effects. Osteoarthritis and other chronic pain disorders are not an Indomethacin or other NSAID deficiency. This is why the use of these drugs will never cure any disease. Their chronic long-term use will not cure, and will actually hamper soft tissue healing and accelerate the arthritic process.

Prolotherapy, because it stimulates inflammation, helps the body heal. Prolotherapy stops the arthritic process and helps eliminate the person’s chronic pain, often permanently. NSAIDs should not be taken while undergoing Prolotherapy because they inhibit the inflammation caused by the treatment. For that matter, anyone with chronic pain should seriously consider stopping NSAIDs and starting Prolotherapy.