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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kara Rosenstrauch

The Hidden Risks of NSAIDs (Motrin, Aleve, Advil): Could They Be Causing Arthritis?

Updated: Apr 28

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Motrin, Aleve, and Advil are widely used for quick pain relief. However, recent studies suggest that these commonly used

medications might actually contribute to joint damage and potentially accelerate arthritis.

NSAIDs and Cartilage Damage

NSAIDs are often the first line of treatment for acute injuries, but they may be causing more harm than good. Research indicates that NSAIDs can interfere with stem cells in the joints, leading to the production of abnormal cartilage. This involves an overproduction of collagen X, a protein that makes cartilage softer and less durable, which may hasten the development of arthritis.

The Risks Beyond Joint Health

Aside from potential damage to joint cartilage, NSAIDs are linked to serious health risks such as stomach ulcers and an increased likelihood of stroke and heart attacks. Even Naprosyn, considered to be on the safer side, more than doubles the risk of these cardiovascular events.

Safer Alternatives

Considering these risks, exploring alternatives for managing pain and inflammation is advisable. Natural supplements like high-dose fish oil, curcumin, and Osteo Bi-Flex with Glucosamine can be effective, engaging different biological pathways and avoiding the side effects associated with NSAIDs. Additionally, Red/Infrared Light Therapy is a non-invasive option that has been shown to reduce inflammation and aid in healing.


While NSAIDs can provide immediate pain relief, their impact on long-term joint health and overall safety profile warrants caution. Both patients and healthcare providers should weigh the benefits against the risks and consider safer alternatives that support the body’s natural healing processes. Reevaluating how we manage pain and inflammation, particularly in relation to joint health, becomes crucial. Please give the safer alternatives a try first!

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