The Following is a Blog from Kelly Starrett in response to a athelete asking why not take Ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen is an NASAID (Non-Sterodial-Anti-Inflammatory-Drug), which is believed to work through the inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX), thus inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis. Prostaglandins are like hormones in that they act as a chemical messengers, but do not move to other sites, but work right within the cells where they are synthesized. Prostaglandins are vital mediators of the inflammatory cascade. The swelling and subsequent prostaglandin production signals all of the important cells circulating in your body to come and fix/reinforce the challenged tissues. That's right, all that soreness you feel after Fran is the resultant swelling from all the micro-damage you've done to your muscles. It's this very inflammatory response that is responsible for making you a BETTER ATHLETE. The worst thing you can do is to go through a horrible workout like Fran and then not reap the resultant gains from the training stimulus.
*No good coach (trainer) should allow their athletes to take ibuprofen at anytime, even if they are hung over..
NSAIDs have been shown to delay and hamper the healing in all the soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Anti-inflammatory can delay healing and delay it significantly, even in muscles with their tremendous blood supply.
(Greene, J. Cost-conscious prescribing of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for adults with arthritis. Archives of Internal Medicine. 1992; 152:1995-2002.)
Long term NSAID use is hard on your tissues and directly responsible for some pretty gnarly chronic body issues.
So how do we treat acute inflammatory/inflammation pain?
Practice all the recovery tricks we know: including; Proper nutrition, fluid intake, ice bath, fish oil, active recovery, stretching, massage, trigger point, etc.
*Refer to Whole Nine Tab for more ideas on recovery.
Kelly Starrett: Owner CF San Francisco,Doctor of Physical Therapy.