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Should injuries be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs?

  1. Jun 12, 2015 #1
    Should an injury from overuse, such as a tendonitis, be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen, or do they retard the healing process and would it be better to just let the injury heal naturally? I found some papers supporting they harm the recovering process of the injury:
    This one found that NSAID's harm the recovery process in some tendons, except for Ibuprofen which had no statistical significant benefit or harm over healing: http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/35/8/1326
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  3. Jun 16, 2015 #2


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    Personal experience and a layman's logic from me (not a doctor). Years ago, I suffered from tennis elbow (carrying to many full sized prints or some pencil pushing overuse of my arm). Needless to say, it was painful and I had a construction electrician tell me that his doctor prescribed him prescription strength ibuprofen to reduce the swelling (the swelling at the elbow agitates the nerve, which caused the tendinitis and pain, because the nerve swells when agitate too; a sort of positive feedback in a negative way). I had suffered for 4-5 months (and probably should have seen a doctor), but I followed my own self administered program similar to his and viola, after 2-3 weeks my elbow was fine.
    So, I have to believe anti-inflammatory drugs do work. But I am a single case and not a study. However, it is considered an accepted treatment. Admittedly most drugs have some unpleasant or worse, side effects. Ibuprofen of the amount I self administered definitely bothered my stomach.
  4. Jun 16, 2015 #3
    Too much ibuprofen is bad for the liver and kidneys. Anything over 1200 mg in 24 hours you need to go see a doctor. In the past, I've been prescribed 2400 mg within 24 hours for up to 3 days for severe back pain, but then I'm not a small person, and body mass is crucial in determining how much a doctor will prescribe you.

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that ibuprofen is not recommended for broken bones as it interfers with bone healing. The article at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3259713/ seems to say both yes and no. (Sounds like getting advice from Elves.) "Steroids, chemotherapy drugs, and some classes of antibiotics have been reported to exert a negative effect on bone healing[15, 16]. In addition, NSAIDs (ibuprofen is one) that are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for pain relief and inflammation to date have also been found to delay union and to inhibit fracture healing [15]." If you broke something, see your doctor for pain; don't self medicate.

    I'll usually take 200 to 400 mg after a day of splitting wood by hand as my elbows and shoulders will be sore. Same for any flare ups from my plantar facitits. Ditto after a rough night of fencing because not only have I really used muscles that don't get used piloting a desk all day, I'm also dealing with enough bruises to make my torso look like I was executed by a paintball squad.

    I am NOT a Doctor of Medicine. Take any advice with a pound of salt. (Or maybe not salt. Don't want to raise your blood pressure!)
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