NSAIDs may slow your recovery.

We are so quick to reach for the bottle of ibuprofen when we have an ache, pain or injury, but do we know how this is affecting our bodies natural ability to repair and recover from an injury?


Aside from the number of deaths each year secondary to the use of NSAIDS from gastrointestinal complications, what most don’t know is that Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have a significant  impact on our body’s ability to heal following an injury. If you’re a runner with a long-term established use of NSAIDs, and you’re having difficulties with chronic injuries, consider an alternative course of action after consulting with your doctor. NSAIDs delay and hamper the healing of soft tissues including muscle, ligaments, tendons and cartilage according to numerous studies. In one study on muscle strains, a popular NSAID essentially wiped-out the entire inflammatory proliferative phase of healing (days 0-4). At day two there were essentially no macrophages (cells that clean up the area) in the area and by day four after a muscle strain there was very little regeneration as compared to the normal healing process. The muscle strength at this time was about 40 percent of normal. Another study confirmed that at day 28 after an injury the muscle regeneration was still delayed.The key question regarding the healing of sports injuries is what therapies speed-up the healing process by stimulating production of fibroblastic cells (cells that lay down new tissue). The current literature supports treatments such as ASTYM and Graston Technique, to name two. The point here is that there are great ways to speed recovery and that use (over-use) of NSAIDs can delay the recovery from injury.


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