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News: December 17, 2009

Athletes who take NSAID's to prevent pain may be doing more harm than good

December 17, 2009

According to Stuart Warden, a researcher who studies musculoskeletal health and sports medicine, athletes who ritualistically take NSAID's to prevent post event and workout soreness and inflammation may be depriving the body of healing, in addition to risking other long term health problems. Taking anti inflammatory medications before running or other athletic events, is not recommended.. Warden suggests athletes weigh the risks of taking non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) before challenging workouts.


Warden says using anti inflammatory medications prophylactically has no scientific basis. Indiscriminate use of NSAID's can deprive the body of healing ability, in addition to the ability to adapt to challenging workouts. non steroidal nti inflammatory medications can also lead to stomach ulcers and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

"I want people, including recreational athletes, to think about the perceived benefits versus potential risks of taking NSAIDs, and to ask themselves why they are taking these agents," said Warden. "They need to ask, 'Do the benefits outweigh the risks?"

Longer use and higher doses of NSAID's increase the risk of adverse health effects. Warden explains, "These agents are treatments for the symptoms of an injury, not the injury itself. They may allow an athlete to exercise or train at a certain level, but pain occurs for a reason. It is basically the body's mechanism of saying, 'Hang on, you've got some sort of injury that should not be ignored.'"

Warden warns, "But to take the drugs before every run and throughout the year is a concern. You need to think of pain not as a hindrance, but as a signal that something is not quite right. NSAIDs should not be used at the expense of a thorough assessment of an injury by a trained professional, such as a physical therapist or physician."

Anti inflammatory medications, (NSAID's) called COX2 inhibitors, block the production of prostaglanins that are that produce pain and inflammation, signaling the body that injury is present. Following acute injury, anti inflammatory medications ease pain and swelling, but Warden warns that athletes who use NSAID's in the absence of injury are setting themselves up for long term problems that might include risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney problems, and inability of the body to adapt to challenging workouts.



Archive issues: (50)

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December 12, 2009 | Researchers Find New Drug To Shrink Breast Cancer Tumors

Boston (SmartAboutHealth) - Researchers have discovered a new antibody drug that has the ability to shrink breast cancer tumors that other drugs have failed to impact.  The study was carried out by researcher Dr. Ian Krop and colleagues at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  What they discovered is that a hybrid drug, T-DM1, was able to shrink or at least stop the growth of HER2-positive breast cancer tumors.  The drug is ...

December 11, 2009 | Fewer dollars for smoking prevention

Even as states pull in billions of dollars in tobacco settlement money - part of which is typically used to fund anti-smoking programs - they're slashing the amount they spend on such programs by 15%.   Altogether, states will spend $567.5 million on anti-smoking efforts in the 2010 fiscal year, says a report ...

December 9, 2009 | Smoking Kills Millions Worldwide Every Year

Tobacco use kills at least 5 million people every year, a figure that could rise if countries don't take stronger measures to combat smoking, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.  In a new report on tobacco use and control, the U.N. agency said nearly 95 percent of the global population is unprotected by laws banning smoking. WHO said secondhand smoking kills about 600,000 people every year.  The report describes countries' various strategies ...

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Athletes who take NSAID's to prevent pain may be doing more harm than good

According to Stuart Warden, a researcher who studies musculoskeletal health and sports medicine, athletes who ritualistically take NSAID's to prevent post event and workout soreness and inflammation may be depriving the body of healing, in addition to risking other long term health problems. Taking anti ...

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