On this video Dr. Stephen Graham an east end Louisville Chiropractor explores the dangers of taking the over the counter drug, Ibuprofen.

Dr. Graham reports that Ibuprofen includes such OTC’s as Advil and Motrin. Aleve is listed as Naproxen. However, all these are listed under the heading of NSAID’s (non steroidal ant-inflammatories). The way NSAID’s work is they interfere with specific enzymes that trigger inflammation. This will in effect slow inflammation down, thereby decreasing the pain.

Most people that have mechanical problems to their spine such as disc degeneration, bulging discs, and stenosis will have inflammation. This inflammation will actually put pressure on the nerve and cause pain. Ibuprofen and the other NSAIDs as mentioned earlier, will interfere with inflammation producing enzymes.

Although in many cases it will lessen back pain there are some real side effects from taking Ibuprofen that are quite disturbing. Some of these common side effects from taking Ibuprofen are as follows:

Most common
Abdominal pain
Acid or sour stomach
Cloudy urine
Decrease in amount of urine
Decrease in urine output or decrease in urine-concentrating ability
Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
Excess air or gas in stomach or intestines
Full feeling
Itching skin
Pain or discomfort in chest, upper stomach, or throat
Pale skin
Passing gas
Noisy, rattling breathing
Rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
Shortness of breath
Swelling of face, fingers, hands, feet, lower legs, or ankles
Troubled breathing at rest
Troubled breathing with exertion
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Unusual tiredness or weakness
Weight gain
Less common
Abdominal cramps
Stomach soreness or discomfort

More rare side effects are:
Back, leg, or stomach pains
Bleeding gums
Blistering, peeling, loosening of skin
Blood in urine or stools
Bloody, black, or tarry stools
Blurred vision
Burning feeling in chest or stomach
Change in vision
Chest pain
Clay-colored stools
Cough or hoarseness
Dark urine
Decreased urine output

The main concern though should be the harmful effects to the stomach lining.

‘Everyone who takes NSAIDs will get small erosions of the stomach, which can happen after a single dose,’ says Dr Ray Shidrawi, a consultant gastroenterologist at Homerton University Hospital in London.

Other side effects that should be a concern for men are erectile dysfunction. Renal cell cancer is also an effect from taking too much Ibuprofen.

Natural type remedies are white willow bark, omega 3 from such sources as salmon and of course ice is a great topical to remove inflammation.

One danger in anti-inflammatories is that it lessens the pain and people tend to do more thus possibly damaging the area even more. Dr. Graham suggests the best thing to do is to remove the cause. Most of the time Dr. Graham states that back pain is caused from misalignments to the spine, disc degeneration, bulging discs and stenosis all of which responds well to de-compressive adjustments that Dr. Graham performs in his office.