"NSAIDs may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis, [but may] enhance the process of cartilage degeneration by interfering with intrinsic repair activities."1Looks like NSAIDS that were more selective for inhibiting COX-2 enzymes were less damaging to joints, but had a higher risk for stroke and heart attack.
Here's Wikipedia's page on COX-2 inhibitors. As I understand it, all NSAIDS inhibit both COX-1 and COX-2, but some are more selective for COX-2 than, say, ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox). It's the COX-1 inhibitors that cause more GI bleeding. Aspirin inhibits both COX-1 and COX-2.
Some NSAIDS more selective for COX-2:
- Vioxx (off market for heart attack and stroke risk)
Related: COX-2 (Which NSAIDS Inhibit) Plays An Essential Role In Bone Repair