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Turmeric V. Ibuprofen for Pain

Updated: Apr 1, 2019

By Dr. Lisa Goodman, DC, CCSP

Recent research indicates that Turmeric is as effective as Ibuprofen for reducing pain and inflammation. However, just as dosing is important with ibuprofen, it is with Turmeric. The study presented this weekend highlights a dose of 1,500mg per day (in doses of 500 3x per day). Here is the tricky thing, most supplements containing Turmeric may boast 50mg. That is a large difference! This highlights the importance of understanding dosing (under and over) with nutritional supplements. It is so easy for supplement companies and brands to throw a little bit of a good herb in there, but in far less than therapeutic doses. It is also important to note that with Turmeric there are types that are patented and more bioavailable (ie. better absorbed, more effective) including Meriva, Biomor, Longvida, Thercurmin and BCM 95. Also important to consider are side effects. Just with therapeutic doses of medications, if you take a therapeutic dose of herbs/supplements you can count on some side effects as well. With Turmeric you are looking at stomach pain, loose stools and over a long period of time ulcers. There could also be interactions with some drugs, so be sure the run them by your medical doctor and check this handy link:

In two recent studies Turmeric was found to be more effective than Ibuprofen for post surgical pain and swelling and delayed muscle soreness, both were dosed between 1,500-5,000 mg per day.

How Does Turmeric Work?

Turmeric inhibits a protein and enzyme in the body that promote inflammation. It also can squash nitric oxide and free radicals. It also decreases platelet aggregation, decreases neutrophils and binds with toxic heavy metals.

What is Turmeric Good for?

Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Postsurgical Inflammation, High Cholesterol,

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMs), pain.

Be sure to consult with your treating physician prior to taking a high dose of herbs and other nutritional supplements.


  • Kuptniratsaikul V, Dajpratham P, Taechaarpornkul W. et al. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study. Clin Interv Aging. 2014 Mar 20;9:451-8.doi: 10.2147/CIA.S58535. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24672232; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3964021.

  • Nicol LM, Rowlands DS, Fazakerly R, Kellett J. Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 Mar 21.[Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25795285.

Washington Park Chiropractic is the only practice in Denver, Colorado specializing in Sports Chiropractic, Prenatal Chiropractic and Pediatric Chiropractic. Our Wash Park Doctors are expert certified and trained in Sports, Pediatrics and Prenatal Care including massage, acupuncture, Webster Technique, Graston Technique, Laser, K-Laser, Kinesiology Tape, RockTape and Normatec.

Lisa Goodman, DC, CCSP, CACCP is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) and Certified Prenatal and Pediatric Chiropractor (CACCP). She is a CrossFit L1 and CrossFit Kids Certified Trainer. Dr. Goodman founded Washington Park Chiropractic in 2006 in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Goodman incorporates sports chiropractic techniques with prenatal and pediatric patients, she teaches mobility and taping classes locally, and is a contributor to POPSUGAR, Urban Life Wash Park and DC Aligned. She is a committee member on the boards of the ACA Pediatrics Council and the ACA Sports Council. Areas of special interest include prenatal care, ankle and wrist injuries, instrument assisted soft tissue techniques, strength training, and pediatric fitness. Stay connected with Dr. Goodman on Instagram @washparkchiro or @lisakgoodman


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