Unable to take NSAIDs

Emm Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

Hello folks,

I was diagnosed with ostearthritis in several joints about 8 years ago. Hips, hands, feet and neck are now causing me a fair bit of bother. I can’t take anti-inflammatory meds (even with Omeprazole) so am relying on paracetamol and co-codamol 30/500 plus Ibuleve gel. Over time everything is ramping up in pain terms. I walk as much as possible but experience more pain and therefore walk less. I’m not overweight. I’d like to hear what other folk find helpful for pain relief.



  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,486

    Hello @Emm welcome to the online community.

    I see from your post that you have Osteoarthritis in multiple joints and can't take NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications). You are absolutely not alone in this quite a few of our members aren't able to take them due to gastric issues as well as breathing/heart problems. I am sure someone will be along son to tell you what they do to manage their own pain.

    In the meantime I am going to attach a couple of links which might help you.

    This one is about managing pain and has lots of ideas. Hopefully something you haven't yet tried is in here:

    This one contains exercises t help manage Arthritis. I see you have had to gradually reduce your walking which no doubt you miss:

    Do feel free to join in anywhere on the forum Living with Arthritis tends to be a very popular category.

    Best wishes


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Welcome @Emm,

    Ellen's provided a couple of links to some very useful content on the website, it helped me a great deal.

    I've been experimenting with lots of different things over the last 8 months or so to help manage the pain and stiffness in my knees where my OA has set up home.

    For stiffness I use a deep tissue massaging gun (can be bought online from Amazon) and FlexiSeq gel which helps with lubrication and crunching. Elasticated knee supports provide stability and the compression helps as well, particularly if doing anything sporty or a long walk.

    For anti-inflammatories I take Bromelain capsules, a Turmeric and Capsicum blend, Boswelia capsules and get dark leafy green veg and Omega 3 rich food into my diet.

    When it comes to pain relief, I take CBD capsules and eat lots of Olives which include a substance with properties very similar to Ibuprofen. I use a TENS machine for half and hour every day and have Acupuncture once a month.

    An ice pack helps to reduce swelling if I overdo it and ease throbbing and heat.

    This is a lot I appreciate but I'm able to lead an almost normal life despite having severe OA in both knees and on the waiting list for a double TKR.

    Everyone's Arthritis is different so experimentation is the name of the game to find out what works for you.

    Hope some of these help


  • Emm
    Emm Member Posts: 3

    Hi Jon,

    This is so helpful, thank you. I will explore the things you mention.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited 12. Jul 2023, 17:30
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 391

    Hi @Emm

    I haven't been able to take anti inflammatories for a long time now and it's a pain trying to find something that works. My "go to" remedies that work for me are,

    1. Gabapentin (originally presceribed for nerve pain for my neck problems, currently 600 g 4 times a day
    2. Tramadol up to 8 a day (4 x 2 pills 4 times a day or one pill every 4 hours)
    3. A pain management programme of prescription codeine 4 times a day with 2 paracetamol inbetween the codeine doses and this is taken whether I need it or not, the paracetamol taken between codeine doses keeps the pain relief boosted
    4. Voltoral used to work but no longer - don't bother using any cream on your hands as we're frequently washing hands so a waste of time and money.
    5. Hot Hands (other brands are available but these are my preferred ones) for hands. If you've not seen or tried them, they're little packets of magic, bought in most chemists etc as a pack of two with heat relief treatments they are air activated, last about 12 hours and small enough to go inside a pair of gloves, inside pockets etc. Try them, if they work check out online selling sites as you can buy a big box of them which work out an awful lot cheaper than buying separately.
    6. Alternate between hot and cold (can be a pack of frozen peas, hands left under a running cold tap or a cold spray (can be bought at £ shops very cheaply) and for those awkward to reach places, hot water bottles indoors or heat spray (I have been known to stand outside the back door spraying myself with heat spray as it stinks (suitably clothed) lol) even in the rain and snow and the middle of the night.
    7. Tumeric never worked for me but some people swear by it.
    8. If you're having problems getting out of bed, raise yourself onto your elbow and roll yourself out of bed, feet first.
    9. Hot baths as opposed to showers if you can get in and out safely.
    10. My trusty tens machine - I am on my second and this one has lasted about 8 years so far so worth every penny
    11. Therapy balls (Like little eggs) and therapy putty - both of which come in different strengths and can be purchased cheaply on online selling sites and I use both for my hands - use the putty like play doh, sit and stretch, pull, roll, tear etc and the balls just squeeze them, push your fingers/thumbs into them and slide them. You'll be able to find lots of exercises on youtube for these.
    12. A good finger/thumb exercise is to move your thumb across the hand moving from the top of the finger next to it and slide it down to the base and each one up to the little finger and back again.

    Most importantly, listen to your body - see if you can get referred to a good physio for support and advice - they will arrange any tests you need doing and then pain clinic (as much use as a chocolate tea pot in my experience) and surgeons where necessary.

    I hope you find something that works for you. I had a trapeziectomy on my thumb in 2020 and still use the exercises and regime for that to this day to keep my hands moving after suffering with them for a long time before surgery due to covid getting in the way.

    Love n hugs