Written by Courtney Salinas
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The pain and inflammation associated with arthritis can be debilitating and put a damper on a once active life. Simple things like going up and down stairs, getting out of the car or doing chores around the house can become extremely painful and sometimes impossible. Enjoyable activities like painting, gardening or playing musical instruments can become too painful to bear.

Anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin have long provided arthritis sufferers with the needed relief so that they can have some semblance of their old life back. The relief of aspirin comes with a price, though, in the form of stomach irritation that can sometimes be as bad as the arthritis pain. Pharmaceutical companies then developed a new breed of drug, called COX-2 inhibitors to replace aspirin and similar medications.

COX-2 inhibitors help control inflammation and pain without the painful side effects that aspirin has. There have been recent developments, though, in the safety of COX-2 inhibitors. Vioxx was found in studies to increase the chances of heart attack and stroke and has since been recalled by the manufacturer. Celebrex and other COX-2 inhibitors are now under careful scrutiny from consumers.

Natural Anti-inflammatory Alternatives

There are many natural alternatives to aspirin and COX-2 inhibitors. Many arthritis sufferers take herbal supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin to combat inflammation and pain. A lot of arthritis sufferers have turned to drinking tart cherry juice or eating tart cherries because it is believed that tart cherries reduce inflammation and pain.

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