A recent topic in the athletic world is the role of inflammation in healing and adaptation to training. This is particularly of note to our running, cycling, and triathlete patient base that train many hours per week and are constantly at war with inflammation, pain, soreness, and fatigue. This topic is fleshed out in greater detail in an excellent blog linked here:
If you don’t have time to read the article (which you really should take the time) I will outline some of the main points.
1. Inflammation is often a desired, and necessary response to injury or training. Without it, adaptation can be less effective.
2. NSAID’s (or Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) inhibit training adaptations in muscle according to research.
3. Recent studies show that anti-inflammatory drugs don’t always reduce pain. This flies in the face of what is commonly believed and thus brings into questions of placebo with NSAID’s.
4. Use of NSAIDs sparingly and in the acute injury phase is recommended.
At Fix Body Group we often recommend the use of NSAID’s but the timing and types of issues always are brought into play in making these decisions. While this must always be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, we generally approve of the suggestions in this blog. Using NSAID’s (and let’s not forget ICE!) in the acute but not chronic phase of injury is recommended. Icing as done by many runners and endurance athletes such as ice baths, along with use of NSAID’s to treat general training soreness is not recommended.
This goes hand in hand with what the elite athletes I’ve worked with for years are doing. Elite athletes often take doses of NSAID’s and use ice baths during competitions, so that they can prepare for the next round or day without care for training response from the event. In training they typically limit or avoid these practices to allow their body maximum adaptation to the training stimulus.
Remember, soreness is a good thing in training, it means you have taxed the fibers and musculoskeletal system. Soreness can also be thought of as a governor, forcing your body to slow down for a few days until both the metabolic, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems are recovered and ready for more. If you acquire a simple ache, tendon injury or something that is more than general soreness consult with your health care professional and generally some advil for about three days would be a good idea. If you have questions about different kinds of soreness or what you should do in these scenarios please leave comments below or call to speak to one of our providers. Happy training!