Painkillers and stroke risk factors

Painkillers and stroke risk factors  found that anti-inflammatories such as Motrin and Voltaren increase the risk of a catastrophic bleed in the brain.

Stroke and Heart Attack are kindred spirits, cousins you might say. Both represent in the main diseases of the blood vessels. Thus it is no coincidence that the risk factors for heart attack are similar to the the risk factors for stroke.

Several of the relatively new "wonder" anti-inflammatory drugs (Cox-2 inhibitors), such as Vioxx and Bextra, used in the treatment of arthritis have been withdrawn from the market because they have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack. Do they also increase the risk of stroke? PFIZER BEXTRA fraud... $2.3 billion settlement. More recent studies have also raised concerns about possible heart risks from some of the older over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen (Motrin and other brand names) and diclofenac (Voltaren), particularly when given by injection. Do they too also represent an increased risk factor for stroke?[2]


Research done at the National Taiwan University Hospital examined the data of 38 000 people who suffered a stroke in 2006. The study found that the use of any NSAID (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) was associated with an increased stroke risk from 20%-90% for most oral NSAIDS and a 260% increase for oral Ketorolac.

The absolute risk is quite small.

In people free from the major stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, pre-existing heart disease, smoking, diabetes and raised cholesterol, the absolute risk is really quite small.

For example, people in their 50's without these risk factors have only a 1-3% chance of having a stroke in the next ten years. Even if this risk was doubled, it would remain relatively low.

However, in high risk patients these other risk factors for stroke start to become very significant. Have you had a stent fitted, or passed out when turning your head? Angina or a TIA (Temporary Ischemic Attack)? Has your blood sugar ever been raised, has your doctor ever recommended blood pressure medication, or blood thinners?

"These latest findings suggest that the concern (about NSAIDs and the increased risk of heart attack) may also extend to the risk of stroke," said Dr Elliott Antman, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Limiting use of NSAIDS is nevertheless a good idea," said Antman, "and especially important for people with established heart disease or its risk factors, such as high blood pressure."

"The bottom line is that even common over-the-counter medications are "real drugs that do have risks. People should not continue to take NSAIDs beyond the period of time recommended on the label without talking with their doctor first."

Prof Elliott Antman

Cutting the risk of having a stroke

Most of us can handle the thought of pain as we age, but disablement and loss of independence are another matter. Stroke may mean loss of the ability to speak, to walk, to write, to care for yourself.

Taking these risk factors for stroke for granted is really not an option. Do you have any of these?

High blood pressure

Whilst Chiropractors in the main encourage their patients to consider alternatives like weight loss and exercise before taking drugs, I think there is almost universal agreement that blood pressure medication is one of the non-negotiables if you have high blood pressure.


Diabetics who keep their weight under control FREE WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS .., who exercise every single day WALKING BENEFITS .., get their cholesterol profile into shape, FOODS THAT LOWER CHOLESTEROL ... eat a sensible low simple carbohydrate diet and stop smoking can face the future with confidence.


Except for a small group of people with a missing enzymme that causes hypercholesterolemia, keeping your total cholesterol below 200 (5.1) is really not rocket science. In fact, I am going to be brazen enough to say that it's simple... FOODS TO AVOID HIGH CHOLESTEROL ... what do those terms like LDL and HDL mean? What's more you can do it without Statins, those nasty drugs with all their side effects. Losing your libido?

Adding a glass of red wine to your dinner, having oats for breakfast ( QUAKER OATS RECIPES ...) garbanzo bean dishes regularly ... AUTHENTIC HUMMUS RECIPE ... and eggplant (aubergine), fatty fish... is really no sweat. I eat them anyway because they are so delic!


There is so much overwhelming evidence that people who walk have lower cholesterol, their blood sugar behaves better, their creaking arthritic joints give less pain, they're less depressed ... and it's just plain relaxing. Are you one of those who don't exercise and have no leisure time hobbies? You're at higher risk of both heart attack and stroke. More back pain too...

Walking is a vital part in cutting stroke risk and getting off those anti-inflammatory drugs that are a significant factor in STROKE RISK FACTORS PAINKILLERS.


The battle is won between the ears. I want to see my grandkids grow up.

Anti-inflammatory painkillers

Do your level best to avoid them, especially if you are in the high risk category for stroke.

Painkillers and stroke risk factors weighs research in an eminent medical journal.

  1. Risk of stroke associated with use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during acute respiratory infection episode.
  2. Increased Risk of Stroke Associated With Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

Are you looking for a different slant on your pain?

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Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.

You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70 percent of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there is a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong. Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what a DC does.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my eBooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful from the life and work of a chiropractor, you will love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the amount without telling me.