Muscle or joint pain can happen to any of us. Many people who practice strength sports reach for over-the-counter painkillers in such situations. Is it safe for the body?
It’s just a cold…
Such a negligent attitude towards flu-like symptoms can be encountered especially among young people. Fast pace of life and a lot of professional duties do not go hand in hand with a sick leave. Nowadays hardly anyone can afford to be ill. The result of this approach is that people go to work with fever, runny nose or persistently sore throat, and try to treat their ailments on their own, using medical preparations that can be bought without a prescription both in the grocery store and at the gas station. The most popular preparations are based on ibuprofen or paracetamol.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – are they safe?
Each drug has its specific purpose and its use should be decided by a doctor. There are, however, preparations, which can be bought practically without any limitations at a pharmacy. We reach for them when we have a headache or a toothache. If they are taken in accordance with the recommendations included in the leaflet attached to the package, nothing bad should happen, although you must bear in mind that adverse reactions can always occur. However, more and more people are starting to overdose on OTC drugs. It is worth bearing in mind that ibuprofen taken in doses higher than recommended can lead to permanent liver damage.
Effects of ibuprofen on muscle and strength
Too frequent use of preparations containing ibuprofen may lead to a slower growth of muscle mass and a decrease in strength. This thesis was confirmed by a study – you could read about it in the Acta Physiologica trade journal.
Importantly, not only drug overdose will lead to a decrease in strength and muscle size. Taking NSAIDs at the correct dosage for an extended period of time can also lead to similar results. So how do you alleviate pain during your workouts?
Ensure proper muscle recovery
During workouts (not only those characterized by high intensity) microtrauma may occur. Their large accumulation will initially cause discomfort, and over time may develop into serious pain.
If you want a comfortable workout without pain and you want to avoid taking painkillers, make sure you take proper breaks between training units. Your muscles need time to rest, in which they will be able to regenerate fully.
An important part of a proper workout is a complete warm-up that includes starting the most important parts of your body and stretching your muscles afterwards – don’t forget that!
Need medication? Consult your doctor
Many people underestimate a runny nose, cough, or slight headache. They treat the seasonal cold as something completely harmless. So if you stubbornly ignore the first symptoms of illness, it’s high time to drastically change your attitude to your health. Maybe a slight cold won’t kill you, but the complications after even a slight cold can be extremely debilitating for the body.
Do not unnecessarily reach for medicines, and if you must use them, do not forget to consult your doctor beforehand. The fact that some drugs are sold over the counter at a pharmacy does not mean that they are completely safe. Overuse of ibuprofen may adversely affect the condition of your liver, so use it as recommended by a specialist. Then you won’t have to worry about complications related to overdosing on medications.
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