The “Vitamin I” that I am referring to is ibuprofen. It is classified as a “non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory-drug” and it is serious stuff folks! It is not to be taken haphazardly nor should it be taken just to chase away the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Sorness) from last yesterdays “Fight Gone Bad.” In fact Kelly Starrett, of Crossfit HQ fame, believes that “Ibuprofen has no place in the life of the athlete obsessed with chasing performance.” I will take Kelly”s statement one step further and say that ibuprofen, or any other N.S.A.I.D”s, should be avoided for anyone concerned about their health and longevity. Is that a bold statement or what? Does that cover everyone?
So then what should you do when your non-caring coach closes the gym for a week, and then upon returning gives you “Cindy” followed by “Fran” for a finisher?
Well, you can start by following the R.I.C.E guidlines. You remember those right? Rest. Ice. Compress. Elevate. Beyond this make sure your feeding and watering your body properly, as well as getting a boat load of sleep. How much is a boat load you ask? I relly on the prescription offered up by Robb Wolf (RobbWolf.com) “Sleep as much as you can without getting divorced or fired.” Follow this up with some light rowing, foam rolling, and of course your fish oil.
Embrace the Ice!!!
At this point we have some active recovery techniques that help repair injured tissue as well as help minimize the amount of time you are jacked up from a gnarly workout.
Even in the event some specific injury I would steer folks away from popping a pill to elevate pain. Remember there are no free lunches when it comes to the complex system that is your body.
Here is what Kelly says in regards to Ibuprofen and other N.S.A.I.D”s
“NSAIDs have been shown to delay and hamper the healing in all the soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Anti-inflammatories can delay healing and delay it significantly, even in muscles with their tremendous blood supply. In one study on muscle strains, Piroxicam (an NSAID) essentially wiped out the entire inflammatory proliferative phase of healing (days 0-4). At day two there were essentially no macrophages (cells that clean up the area) in the area and by day four after the muscle strain, there was very little muscle regeneration compared to the normal healing process. (Greene, J. Cost-conscious prescribing of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for adults with arthritis. Archives of Internal Medicine. 1992; 152:1995-2002.)”
You can click (here) to read Kelly”s entire article titled, “Get off the Ibuprofen Peoples!”