Anti-inflammatory literally means something that reduces inflammation. Inflammation is the bodies response to harm from damage, irritants and pathogens.
Inflammation is how the body tries to protect itself and also to initiate healing. The most common symptoms of inflammation are pain, heat & swelling, redness and sometimes loss of function.
Approximately half of pain relief drugs (analgesics) are Anti-inflammatory, and they work by trying to reduce pain by reducing inflammation. (Opioids make up most of the other half and they work by blocking pain signals in the central nervous system.)
What are opioids?
Opioids are medications that relieve pain. They reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those brain areas controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus.
Medications that fall within this class include:
Hydrocodone products are the most commonly prescribed for a variety of painful conditions, including dental and injury-related pain.
Morphine is often used before and after surgical procedures to alleviate severe pain.
Codeine, on the other hand, is often prescribed for mild pain.
In addition to their pain relieving properties, some of these drugs—codeine and diphenoxylate (Lomotil) for example—can be used to relieve coughs and severe diarrhea.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work by preventing prostaglandins from being produced, and prostaglandins create inflammation so blocking these prevents inflammation and therefore the pain associated with it.
Below are natural substances that can also help to reduce inflammation.
Here are some additional ones as well: