Is Aspirin Really Good for You?

Aspirin is well-known for interrupting the process that makes your blood clot. One a day helps keep your blood thin, preventing blockages in your blood vessels that can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Aspirin comes from the willow bark plant, which has been used for medicinal purposes for quite some time, with reports dated as far back as 1500 B.C. More recently, researchers have found that women who take at least two aspirin a week, have a 40% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, is linked to Reye’s Syndrome, a serious condition that can lead to coma in kids. Children and teenagers should avoid using aspirin, especially those recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms.

What’s our take on aspirin? At our clinics, we see patients with musculoskeletal joint pain. Aspirin, along with other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), tends to slow down the healing process of soft tissue, such as ligaments and tendons. This can be especially problematic in athletes who may use them on a frequent basis due to injury. The athlete, feeling less or no pain while taking the medication, will continue to exercise on the injured joint, creating a cycle of injury and weakening of the joint structures. In essence, they are used at the expense of healing. A chronic and painful degenerative condition can develop. And even though these drugs prevent healing and accelerate the cartilage breakdown of a joint, they are frequently recommended as the first-line treatment in joint pain and in osteoarthritis. So, what is the alternative? Treatments that boost healing and provide pain relief so pain medication is not required, which can include various regenerative injection therapies, among others. Patients deserve effective solutions for pain conditions that otherwise lead to pain medication usage.