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Is it Okay to Take Painkillers for Sore Muscles?

exercisefitnesssore musclespain killersdrug safetyNewsletter • 1 min read • Nov 15, 2018 12:00:00 AM • Written by: Kat Smith

Whether you’re cramming in an extra gym session to work off that Thanksgiving feast or you’re upping your workout routine to look your best for this year’s holiday parties, you might find yourself dealing with sore muscles after a tough workout. It’s normal and, in fact, a good sign for your muscles to be sore, since this can be a sign that your muscles are repairing and growing. However, your excitement at may be dampened by the pain that you’re experiencing just a day or two after your workout with delayed onset muscle soreness. Your first thought may be to reach for Ibuprofen or another over-the-counter painkiller, but here’s why that may not be the best solution…

NSAIDs and Muscle Soreness

Taking NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for muscle soreness is not unsafe if you follow the proper dosage guidelines and only use these drugs occasionally. However, safe does not mean effective. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve some pain and swelling, but they are generally not highly effective when it comes to muscle soreness according to research.

Alternatives to NSAIDs

So, if you can’t turn to NSAIDs to feel better after a workout, what can you do? Icing sore muscles tends to be much more effective and offers more immediate relief. Topical agents can also be a great go-to, as can Kinesiotaping, which helps to support injured areas.

It’s also a good idea to check in with a doctor to manage pain and soreness, especially if you’re only just beginning a workout routine. To help you stay healthy as you get fit, check in with a medical professional using MeMD for a quick, affordable visit that you can receive right from home.

Reach the World. Giving Made Easy with Impact.

Kat Smith