Here is an interesting article on the dangers of using painkillers for endurance sports-related injuries.Â It was written in the LA Times.
People usually have good reasons for swallowing over-the-counter painkillers: They’re hurting.
But though the drugs often help, new research suggests that they sometimes do the opposite of what their users intended. That’s especially true for serious athletes, for whom pain â€” and painkillers â€” are regular companions.
In recent years, scientists have been studying runners competing in the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile race through California’s Sierra Nevada mountains that involves more than 18,000 total feet of uphill climbing, more than 21,000 feet of downhill running and an average of 26 hours to complete. After some initial surveys, the researchers learned that 7 out of 10 of the runners regularly took ibuprofen â€” by far their drug of choice â€” during training. Many took up to three times the maximum daily dose to get through the pain of the race.
To learn whether the drug was doing the ultra-runners any good, the original plan was to randomly assign some to take ibuprofen and others to abstain during both training and racing, says lead author David Nieman, director of the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. But use of the drug was so widespread and the runners felt so dependent on it that the medical board thought it would be unethical to ask them not to take it during training.
One of Nieman’s studies instead looked at more than 50 runners, all of whom took ibuprofen regularly leading up to the race. About half of the athletes took a 600 milligram dose of ibuprofen the day before the race and then 1,200 mg on race day â€” a 200 mg tablet about once every four hours. The other group of runners remained drug-free from the day before the race until a week later.
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