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Pain Medicine Interferes with Training

Competitive athletes train by taking a hard workout on one day, feeling sore on the next, taking easier workouts until the soreness disappears, and then exercising intensely again. This training method is called stress and recovery. The soreness is caused by injury to the muscle fibers themselves and when the muscles heal, they are stronger than they were before the soreness occurred. Exercising intensely when muscles are sore delays recovery and interferes with training.

A recent study from Indiana State University shows that the pain medicine ibuprofen, sold as Motrin, does not prevent or shorten the delayed onset muscle soreness that signals that an athlete has damaged his muscles enough so they will be stronger when they heal. This is a good thing because athletes use muscle soreness as a signal to tell them when they can exercise intensely again.

Ingestion of bromelain and ibuprofen had no effect on elbow flexor pain, loss of ROM, or loss of concentric peak torque as a result of an eccentric exercise regimen. Preliminary comparison of bromelain and Ibuprofen for delayed onset muscle soreness management. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 2002, Vol 12, Iss 6, pp 373-378. MB Stone, TA Merrick, CD Ingersoll, JE Edwards. Stone MB, Indiana State Univ, Athlet Training Dept, Terre Haute,IN 47809 USA

Checked 8/31/08

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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