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Can anti-inflammatories alone, help PREVENT inflammation due to exercising?

Posted by Ellen J. on 8/04/03 at 20:57 (126241)

I recently tried a short little test-hike where I walked through the woods for about 45 minutes. I was very nervous that I might have a flare-up from wearing my hiking boots as well as the little hike. I went home and took a couple of Advil to see if that would prevent my feet from reacting to the hike. Luckily, my feet did not react badly the next morning and I'm wondering if Advil alone (without icing my feet) could have helped prevent a reaction to the hike? Can an anti-inflammatory do that alone, without icing, I wonder? I'm thinking that I might try this after any new physical activity to see if it helps, and maybe it will at least have a placebo effect if nothing else. Anyone else have experiences with using only anti-inflmmatories ( without icing) after physical activity? I sure hope I can hike a real mountain again someday without being worried about my feet.
Ellen J.

Re: Can anti-inflammatories alone, help PREVENT inflammation due to exercising?

R C on 8/05/03 at 08:22 (126259)

I know of marathon runners who pop several Advil before a major training run, in order to prevent the pain that would otherwise hit afterwards. The risk is that the medicine masks the warning signals that the athlete is pushing too hard and is risking injury. For this reason, would urge against this practice. They used to abuse cortisone this way in college and professional sports (i.e., inject an injury right before a big game). I think that explains a lot of the ruptured tendons from a generation ago.

Re: Can anti-inflammatories alone, help PREVENT inflammation due to exercising?

Kathy G on 8/05/03 at 09:04 (126260)

I don't think Aleve would mask the pain of a flare up. It's just not strong enough. What it could do, I suspect, is help to prevent some minor inflammation. I would think it would be even better to take it previous to activity. The doctors would be the right people to answer this.

As for me, I take Vioxx but if I'm going to do something I know will hurt my feet, I take some kind of analgesic prior to the activity. It still hurts but not as much as if I wait and take it after the pain starts. It doesn't mask any symptoms because my feet aren't ever happy and sometimes they're unhappier than usual, and they let me know it!

Re: Can anti-inflammatories alone, help PREVENT inflammation due to exercising?

Sharon W on 8/05/03 at 11:02 (126265)

Ellen,

I can't answer that specific question, but I do know that in health care it is usually far more effective to PREVENT something, or to catch it in the early stages, than to try to undo a process that is already in full effect. This is certainly true of pain -- it takes LESS painkiller to control pain, if you take it BEFORE it really starts to hurt, than if you wait until you are really miserable to try to make the pain stop.

My guess would be that taking anti-inflammatories BEFORE exercising would reduce the amount of inflammation, but might not prevent the inflammation altogether.

Sharon
.

Re: Can anti-inflammatories alone, help PREVENT inflammation due to exercising?

Ellen J. on 8/05/03 at 12:00 (126271)

Hi RC,
I was thinking the same thing awhile ago about use of anti-inflmmatories in general. However, what I was actually thinking this time is; not to take it before the activity (I myself don't need it anyway for that) but to take it right afterward to prevent the inflammation that comes from the activity, which might then lessen the amount of injury from the inflammatory process.
What are your thoughts on that? I would be interested to hear your opinions on that--and anyone else's too.
Ellen J.

Re: Can anti-inflammatories alone, help PREVENT inflammation due to exercising?

R C on 8/05/03 at 13:25 (126283)

I don't see that harm in taking meds right after activity. Yet --

I have always taken the conservative (some might say chicken-hearted) position that if some activity (I am thinking of voluntary activities such as exercise) causes pain in my injured foot, then I avoid that activity altogether. I gave up golf for about a year and a half for that reason, and I've given up running altogether. Instead, I swim for exercise. My PF hasn't bothered me since last summer.