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Monmouth County pain management office continues its mission to educate patients on the dangers of misusing painkilling medications.

If you’re any type of athlete (professional or otherwise), you need to read the following information. A number of studies show that many of you are relying on over-the-counter pain medication as an ergogenic aid to enhance performance and/or relieve pain—and that this action can have serious health consequences.

Naturally, when it comes to activities that require endurance, athletes are always looking for new ways to become better competitors.

In particular, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as Advil or Aleve, are well- known for having anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It’s become apparent that many athletes are using these drugs before, during, and after competition.

At Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation, we’ve spoken a lot on our blog about the dangers of over-the-counter medications. NSAIDs function by blocking prostaglandins—substances produced by the body that are responsible for protecting the lining of the stomach; regulating blood pressure; and mediating pain and inflammation.

Masking pain is never a good idea—it reduces the sensation of muscle soreness but does nothing to prevent injury to the muscles. Worse, one study* showed that long-distance runners who had taken ibuprofen before and while running showed more inflammation and other signs of immune system response than those who had not.

Those runners using the ibuprofen also had mild kidney impairment, dehydration, and something known as exertional hyponatremia, in which the delicate yet extremely important balance of blood/sodium concentration is disrupted to a dangerous degree. Some of the runners also suffered from minor endotoxemia, in which bacteria leaks from the colon into the bloodstream.

We told you the news was disturbing.

Athletic activities aside, the long-term use of NSAIDs can cause ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney damage.

Let’s talk about safe over-the-counter drug use. Those of you who do not have a history of ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, or kidney issues can safely use NSAIDs as a short-term method of relieving muscle soreness or minor injury.

If you’ve suffered any type of sports injury or you’ve been in pain for quite some time, it’s important to seek help. The longer pain continues, the more you are at risk for further injury or chronic pain. There’s never been a better time to visit our office; we are now offering a complimentary examination/consultation process ** as well as free, 30-minute massage for all new patients. We are a fully staffed multi-disciplinary pain management and rehabilitation office that provides:

Contact our Red Bank rehabilitation office to learn more.

*Study completed by the Human Performance Laboratory at the North Carolina Research Campus.
** Valued at $245.00
***Valued at $60.00