The Best Pain Medication for Ankle Degenerative Joint Disease

Published: 01st September 2010
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This article is my opinion which is the best pain medication for people with ankle degenerative joint disease. What I am saying is based on reports from my patients as well as my own experience as a degenerative joint disease sufferer myself. As a Chiropractor I do believe the less pain medication we use for our degenerative joint disease the better but it is a very valuable weapon in your arsenal for controlling your ankle degenerative joint disease pain. Use it wisely and it will give you relief.

There are a number of options available for ankle degenerative joint disease pain medication but I am only going to cover the ‘over the counter drugs’ that we self medicate with. If a Doctor has prescribed something by all means ask why but don’t just stop taking it without discussing it with the Doctor first.

The first one I am going to talk about is:


These include ibuprofen, aspirin, Celebrex or Voltaren (diclofenic) and can be very good for some conditions. For example if you had a car accident and suffered a whiplash injury then a 10 day course of an anti-inflammatory is a great start to your treatment plan.

BUT, (and yes that is a big but) they have been shown to interfere with the healing process so you need to get off them in order to heal well. They can also have some nasty side effects, like causing bleeding in your gut or stomach ulcers, if taken for too long or not with food.

Also I have a question. Ankle degenerative joint disease is classified as a NON INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS so how on earth does anyone think that an ANTI INFLAMMATORY drug will help? I have never understood why so many doctors prescribed them for OA and for years at a time as well.

If you have taken them or are taking them and got relief from them then you are probably getting a lot of pain from the inflamed muscles, tendons and ligaments (the soft tissue) around the joint rather than from the wearing in your ankle joint. (A fuller explanation is available on the course below).

Believe me there is better, more effective ankle degenerative joint disease pain medication and better, more effective ways of treating your inflamed muscles and ligaments than an anti-inflammatory drug that is simply masking the problem rather than sorting them out so they are comfortable and functioning as well as they can given the osteoarthritic joint they have to move and support.


Some healthcare professionals give injections into a joint as a form of ankle degenerative joint disease pain medication. Again I have a bit of a problem with this.

Firstly they are usually using a NSAIDs and even steroids. I have already discussed why NSAIDs are not a good idea. Secondly they will usually only give you two or three of these in total because of the side effects they cause. Some can even cause local osteoporosis (a thinning of the bone around the joint) which is a known cause of ankle degenerative joint disease so it really doesn't seem a good idea to give you something that could make your condition worse! Also the pain relief from injections last, on average, 3 months- so that gives you 6 to 9 months pain relief for the rest of your life! Hmmm......I think that says it all really-there must be better long term ankle degenerative joint disease pain medication!


A good ankle degenerative joint disease pain medication is a paracetamol/codeine mixture but you really must talk to a pharmacist if that is suitable for you. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT IF YOU ARE TAKING ANY OTHER MEDICATION.

Just make sure it is an analgesic (painkiller) and not a NSAID.

Now do not take the maximum dose daily just because that is what is says on the packet because, over time, their effectiveness will be reduced. Take them only when you need them. For example I know, no matter how careful I am when I clean the house I get back pain after and sometimes I literally can't get out of a chair in the evening on cleaning day. So I do need and use a good degenerative joint disease pain medication. I take two paracetamol/codeine tablets (a strong one recommended by my pharmacist) as soon as I have finished cleaning. That way I may get a bit achy but no more than that. Considering I was diagnosed in 1991 with DJD of the spine and as I doubt it has got any better after years as a chiropractor that is a good result really!

So that is my opinion on what pain medication helps ankle degenerative joint disease and I have tried to explain why as well. Don’t use an anti-inflammatory drug to control a non-inflammatory condition it really doesn’t make sense, but do use a good painkiller in moderation. That is the best ankle degenerative joint disease pain medication and, used with other forms of treatment (such as heat, cold, rest, activity, support etc) this will help the degenerative joint disease sufferer.

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