OTC Medications and Me

“No pain, no gain!” Is this old saying really true? We consulted our expert professional affiliate to answer this. We also cover the topic of pharmaceuticals and how they play a role in preventive medicine. We hope you enjoy! 
We all take over the counter medications, but which are best for me? We consulted a healthcare professional to illuminate on medications for us. Alec Kaple is a graduate of Ohio Northern’s Department of Pharmacy Practice and is a practicing pharmacist. Here is what he had to say:
Q: What is the best OTC medication to control swelling and pain?
A: “For younger patients, it is typically a good idea to start with medications called NSAIDS- which include ibuprofen and naproxen. These medications are a good choice to reduce swelling. However, these medications are not recommended for routine use in patients 65+ years of age due to increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Adults over 65 years of age should consult with their physician if they need a long-term anti-inflammatory medication.
Q: What is the best OTC medication for arthritis pain?
A: “For pain, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is appropriate for most patients unless they have chronic liver disease. Tylenol can be harmful to patients with liver disease.  And while it can help with pain, it does not have anti-inflammatory effects.”
Q: What is the #1 mistake people make when adding an OTC medication to their normal prescription medications?
A: “Patients often make the mistake of assuming that there is no crossover between OTC and prescription medications.
For example, patients taking prescription pain medications and OTC acetaminophen (Tylenol) should be wary because their prescription medication may already contain high dosages of this medicine. A combined dosage of acetaminophen should not exceed more than 4000mg in a 24-hour period.” If in question, ask your neighborhood pharmacist about your medications.
Q: Is the old saying true, “no pain, no gain?”
A: “While it is true that it is often impossible to completely eliminate all pain, a combination of medication and non-medication therapies (like physical therapy) can be used to minimize that pain.”
    While on the topic of “no pain, no gain” – it’s important to remember that it is very important to be open with your healthcare professionals, so you receive the best treatment for you.
Have you been experiencing pain during your workouts? Soreness and pain in the body that doesn’t go away after exercising can be a serious warning sign of a movement dysfunction. If you are experiencing this, contact your physical therapist who is a movement ninja and can help you get back on the right track. Physical Therapists are given expert training on how to analyze every aspect of your movement and can figure out the root cause of your problems. They work to design a personalized program to treat the cause and correct the abnormal patterns. Don’t wait until your injury becomes a serious problem, see a physical therapist today! It’s a fact Physical Therapy can be the preventative medicine you need to reduce pain and stop serious injuries from occurring. 
Rehab Associates

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