Advil & Athletes Don’t Mix

Run #2476 Pavement

There’s a new concern in the media from health experts regarding the use of Ibuprophen, or Advil, as a preventative measure for musculoskeletal aches and pains related to sports or exercise.  This caught my eye because over my ten years of practice I have met with many people who do this.  Whether avidly athletic men and women, to those who participate in sports for enjoyment and to stay active, it is a common practice to take an Advil around the time of activity to prevent or address sports related soreness.

The article can be viewed on the CBC’s website here: Ibuprofen use by athletes may cause harm.

The concern with routine use of Ibuprophen involves the way this medication can alter the integrity and function of the digestive tract. Investigators have linked a “leaky-gut” type of change in those who used this medication regularly.  Leaky gut is a general state of poor digestion that Naturopathic Doctors have long recognized.  Leaky gut can be caused by many factors, with regular use of medication (over-the-counter or prescribed) being one of them.

In the monographs for NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflamatory Drugs) like Advil, the top warning is that the most frequently occurring adverse effect involves gastrointestinal issues.  Yet, for some reason, this has been something that was not regarded by the medical professionals who started recommending this to people, nor by those who are doing this in the attempt to feel better during their exercise.

The researchers of the study, published in an issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, go on to say: “We conclude that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs consumption by athletes is not harmless and should be discouraged.”  This is an important message, as regular NSAID use has become common practice for a variety of health concerns, and many are unaware of the risks in using over the counter pain relievers.

At WIN Health & Rehab Centre, our Chiropractors and Physiotherapist offer effective musculoskeletal solutions that:

1) Optimize athletic performance for those who are competing at a professional level

2) Optimize athletic performance for those who are involved in sports for health and enjoyment

3) Educate patients to prevent aches and pains that are related to their sport

In addition, my colleague Dr. Charlene Kush, and I work with these same patient to give them natural recommendations that reduce inflammation and improve muscle repair and recovery.  There are so many drugless options that address inflammation and musculoskeletal health, which are easy, safe and effective.


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