Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Aspirin, Ibuprofen & Acetaminophen Inhibit Muscle Growth

Do you ever have some aches and pains when you work out? Maybe you have some generalized aches and pain and you want to go to the gym so you pop a couple ibuprofen or aspirin or acetaminophen then head off to your work out.

The problem is, if you want your muscles to grow, these seemingly simple over the counter drugs (they're called NSAID or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) will inhibit a natural cascade of reactions that will halt the growth of your muscles following a workout.

There is research that conclusively shows that taking NSAIDs after exercise-induced muscle damage significantly reduces levels of the prostaglandin PGF2-α, which is intimately involved in the protein synthesis that occurs post-exercise; we work out, tear down our muscles, and the anabolic process of tissue repair and hypertrophy is dependent on levels of this prostaglandin. The NSAIDS interfere with this and thus you've pretty much wasted your time in the gym if your goal was to get bigger, better, stronger, faster muscles.

For more on this specific action of these simple NSAID that you can pick up at the local convenience store, read this for all the gory details and the references for the above statements. For my fellow sports medicine physicians and therapists, it's a well referenced article that you can easily incorporate into your presentations.

The other side of this is that national statistics show that Between 3,200 - 16,500 people die every year from bleeding ulcers as a result of NSAIDS. Here's another real scary fact: With NSAIDs taken in the previous week you DOUBLE your chance of Congestive Heart Failure. Here's a quote from the article:

Use of NSAIDs (other than low-dose aspirin) in the previous week was associated with a doubling of the odds of a hospital admission with CHF (adjusted odds ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-3.3). Use of NSAIDs by patients with a history of heart disease was associated with an odds ratio of 10.5 (95% confidence interval, 2.5-44.9) for first admission with heart failure, compared with 1.6 (95% confidence interval, 0.7-3.7) in those without such a history. The odds of a first admission to a hospital with CHF was positively related to the dose of NSAID consumed in the previous week, and was increased to a greater extent with long half-life than with short half-life drugs. Assuming these relationships are causal, NSAIDs were responsible for approximately 19% of hospital admissions with CHF

Here's another interesting fact: Eating veggies, fruit and clean lean natural meats (staying away from Cow dairy) promotes your body's natural processes to reduce inflammation. Taking Fish oils also promotes your body's natural anti-inflammatory pathways. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper joint function reducing nociception (pain or other aberrant nervous system input from abnormal function) and restoring mechanoreception (normal sensation from normal function).

So, the choice is yours, eat a healthy diet, take Omega-3 fish oils and go to your chiropractor to help relieve your aches and pains, or take the chances I pointed out above.

'nuff said

Dr. T



Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

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seattle chiropractor said...

Chiropractic saves patients money by reducing their need for pain medication. Many drugs merely mask pain without addressing its underlying cause. Chiropractic goes to the root of the problem, helping patients live pain-free without the use of medication.

Newer Research said...

This may be contradicted by a 2008 study done by the same organization as the 2002 study (Ball Institute) which found that daily intake of NSAIDS increased muscle growth in elderly exercisers. The 2008 study observed a longer period of time. It is unknown if the length of the study was the reason for the different outcome or if the age of the participants was the deciding factor.

Seattle chiropractic said...

My opinion about treating sports injuries is as such: use medication as needed, such as right after an injury and in the first few weeks of recovery. All the other time, makes sure you're healthy by eating right, staying fit, stretching, exercising, and seeking total health. Athletes and all humans don't need a quick fix to the problem; we need total health.