Most of us have experienced inflammation at some point in our lives—I certainly have. And I’ve found that it often rears its head in an unmistakable way; a swollen, sprained ankle, seemingly unavoidable post-exercise soreness, aching period cramps, and searing tension headaches. This is known as acute inflammation and although it can be inconvenient (and sometimes debilitating) it is a necessary part of our immune system.
“Inflammation is essentially the body’s response to stress. Acute inflammation itself isn’t always bad—it’s how our bodies destroy disease and heal injury,” explains Sporteluxe’s LA editor and qualified nutritionist Michelle Pellizzon.
The good news is that it’s typically pretty easy to treat acute inflammation.
After attending an information session with Nurofen pharmacists, I learnt that most of the time we can find relief from most types of acute inflammation with ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). For this reason, ibuprofen is the active ingredient in standard Nurofen tablets. According to Nurofen, their standard tablets are designed to reduce mild to moderate forms inflammation and provide up to 8 hours of pain relief.
It was also brought to my attention that not all Nurofen tablets are the same. For instance, their Nurofen Zavance tablets contain sodium ibuprofen that absorbs up to two times faster than standard ibuprofen.
Personally, Nurofen has effectively relieved my pain–whether it is in my neck or lower back—on a myriad of occasions and provided much-needed relief almost immediately.
However, when it comes to acute inflammation, a medicine cabinet isn’t the only option. Ahead, Sporteluxe’s LA editor and qualified nutritionist Michelle Pellizzon shares three other natural remedies that can be used for a holistic approach to taming inflammation.
Turmeric gets its gorgeous golden hue from curcumin, the active compound that fights inflammation. Basically, curcumin blocks receptors in the body that signal inflammation—effectively stopping pain before it can even start. Curcumin—and by definition, turmeric—is so good at fighting inflammation and pain that its results have been compared to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs.
Sometimes it’s tough to swallow—and not everyone loves the taste—but ginger contains a powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidant compound called gingerol. Studies have shown that consuming 2 grams of ginger a day for 11 days reduced muscle pain significantly, proving that a daily dose of it could help with muscle recovery after tough workouts. Ginger is also particularly useful for women during that time of the month—research shows that taking a 250 milligram ginger capsule four times a day at the outset of a woman’s cycle can diminish cramps as well as 400 milligrams of ibuprofen for three days from the start of the menstrual cycle.
I could wax poetic about the benefits of magnesium all day long—it improves digestion, is necessary for over 200 enzymatic processes in the body, and has been scientifically proven to prevent and treat migraines. But magnesium is clutch because it also fights full-body inflammation … And most of us aren’t getting enough of the mineral on a daily basis. Just by getting your regular recommended dosage, about 400 milligrams, you’ll lower your body’s levels of CRP, the main marker of inflammation.