Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

More than a thousand free articles with advice and commentary about health, fitness and medical matters.

Gary's new website

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Does taking anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) improve performance and recovery?

Gary's bruised and battered thigh -
No anti-inflammatories - just quick healing!
A report from the annual meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism (June 11, 2012. Abstract FRI0457) showed that in exercisers with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ketoprofin (100 mg twice a day) increased the amount of pain and delayed healing. Celecoxib (Celebrex, 200mg twice a day) treatment diminished total pain slightly. The authors state that "the inflammatory reaction following muscle injury is essential for recovery".  This supports other studies showing that competitive athletes do not benefit from taking NSAIDs. For example, Ibuprofen did not reduce elevated cytokine levels that signify muscle damage in ultra-marathon runners (Brain Behav Immun 2005;9: 398-403).
"So, Gary, when was the last time you took an anti-inflammatory?"

Answer: "Not in the last ten years at least".

Because anti-inflammatories interfere with healing and recovery. By interfering with healing and recovery, the athlete risks ending up with structures, such as tendons and ligaments that are incompletely healed and, therefore, weak and at risk of further injury. Any further injury to an already weakened structure may result in catastrophe such as complete avulsion of the ligament or rupture of the tendon.

Please read this article for a more detailed explanation as to why anti-inflammatories should be off the treatment list:

If you hurt yourself, the better course of action is to bear with the pain and use treatments that do not interfere with healing like compression and elevation in the first instance and then gentle exercise, massage and warmth, depending on the medical advice.

"Should I take anti-inflammatories NSAIDs before doing bruising or exhausting exercise?"

The answer is an emphatic "NO!"

Quoting from Dr Mirkin's article above: ".. competitive athletes do not benefit from taking NSAIDs".  In fact, the evidence is that taking NSAIDs before and after hard exercise causes physical harm by directly interfering with the healing processes, of which inflammation is an integral part.

If inflammation is excessive, then you need to take a hard look at your nutrition, as well as adrenal health - Do so with the assistance of a suitably qualifies health practitioner please.

You need inflammation in order to heal!

"If this is the case, then why does it seem that every sports medicine practitioner recommends and dispenses anti-inflammatories for just about every sprain, strain and bruise - even the most minor?"

It all comes down to the power of the Market - the Almighty Dollar!  Millions are being raked in daily by powerful and influential pharmaceutical companies from the sale of NASID's and they are not about to let a minor detail, such as "harm" to get in the way of a healthy profit.

"So, why don't the Medical Professors say something?"

My opinion: Medical schools rely on millions of dollars of research grants and direct funding from pharmaceutical companies for survival nowadays.  No longer can such institutions of higher learning be considered independent of commercial interests.  Do you really think the Professor in charge of Rheumatology is going to make a public song and dance about the inappropriateness of and excessive prescribing NSAIDs for most injuries and aches and pains?  Not likely!  While he/she may express an opinion in private that is similar to mine, he/she is unlikely to speak of such things in public, lest it jeopardises millions of dollars worth of Faculty funding.  Ethically, he/she should speak out regardless of the possible consequences, but don't hold your breath on that one folks!

About this website
The advice in these articles is given freely without promise or obligation.  Its all about giving you and your family the tools and information to take control of your health and fitness.
Post a Comment