Many people turn to pain medications after a tough workout, in hopes to reduce the muscle soreness that results. The designation “pain medication” leads people to believe that these pills will eliminate ANY type of pain they are experiencing. However, recent studies have concluded that these pain medications have little or no effectiveness in reducing muscle soreness in the time after performing heavy physical activity.
In one recent study, researchers gave participants either a pain medication or a placebo for a week after the workout. In this study, two different pain medications were used. The first of the two, Celecoxib, only slightly reduced pain. The second of the pain medications, Ketoprofen, did not reduce muscle soreness and prolonged pain. Due to this lack of effectiveness along with other negative effects of pain medications, of which many of us are fully aware, researchers could not recommend pain medications to treat muscle soreness.
A key reason why researchers did not feel that pain medications were a good way to treat muscle soreness after a workout is due to what happens to the body’s muscles during a heavy workout. During heavy workouts, muscle fibers experience tiny tears, which triggers an immune response involving inflammation and soreness. However, pain medications may disrupt the normal healing process by suppressing the inflammatory reaction that is necessary for the healing process to occur.
A second recent study shows that massage therapy may be a more effective option for treating muscle soreness than pain medications. In this study, the subject received a massage after a vigorous, hour-long bike ride. Muscle biopsies taken following the massage revealed that the massage reduced cytokine levels and stimulated cell regeneration. As a result of this study, the researchers concluded that massage therapy can relieve muscle soreness while supporting the body’s natural healing process.
If you or someone you know has been dealing with muscle soreness after periods of exercise, give Advanced Chiropractic & Rehab a call today at (330) 726-7404 to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help. We have been servicing the Youngstown and Mahoning Valley area since 2001 with convenient locations in Boardman, Hubbard, and Kinsman. At Advanced Chiropractic and Rehab, we are a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation group that treats work comp injuries, whiplash, sports injuries and specializes in much more than just low back pain.