A recent study out of Denmark shook me a bit. Short-term use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) was associated with an increased risk of stroke in a Danish population study using only healthy individuals. The co-chair of the study, Dr. Robert Califf (Duke Clinical Research Institute), agreed that theses results raised a major public health issue, since so many NSAIDs are available over the counter. It was already known that NSAIDs raised the risk of heart attack, and now, the risk of stroke. Higher risk percentages ranged from 30% for Ibuprofen (Advil, motrin) and naproxen sodium (alleve), to 86% for diclofenac (voltaren). The author of the study, Dr. Gunnar Gislason (Gentofte University Hospital, Hellerup, Denmark), said that word needs to get to health care providers the world over, and that theses drugs need to be regulated much more carefully. The results remind me of the Vioxx issue a few years back, when the same results for heart attack and stroke risk were revealed. If you have pain, you have to decide if you can live with it, or take the risk. I’m currently doing rehab on 2 stroke patients, and I know that I don’t want to have a stroke.

Some non-invasive methods to ease pain: meditation, yoga, exercise, stretching, using proper body mechanics when standing, sitting, bending, lifting, etc.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.