Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic effects, and they inhibit platelet aggregation. This review deals specifically with the use of NSAIDs for the treatment of the symptoms of musculoskeletal conditions. NSAIDs have no documented effect on the course of musculoskeletal diseases. NSAIDs inhibit the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase (COX), which has two known isoforms: COX-1 and COX-2. NSAIDs are often categorised according to their ability to inhibit the individual isoforms, with newer NSAIDs often predominantly inhibiting the COX-2 isoform and older NSAIDs often being less specific inhibitors.

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