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August 2010
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Sports Injuries Nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory medication NSAIDS: Why I don’t recommend them!

The unfortunate reality of society today is most people want immediate gratification and usually look for that quick fix. This is witnessed in all aspect aspects of life from weight loss to financial success to where I see it most personal healthcare. We are so quick to reach for that bottle of advil when we have an ache/pain, but do we really know how this is affecting our body. Set aside the approximately 18,000 deaths a year secondary to the use of NSAIDS from gastrointestinal complications, what most don’t know is these drugs have a significant negative impact on our body’s ability to heal following an injury.

The fact that NSAIDS actually delay and hamper the healing of all soft tissues including muscle, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage is overwhelming supported in numerous studies. In one study on muscle strains, a popular NSAID essentially wiped 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 a muscle strain, there was very little regeneration as compared to the normal healing process. The muscle strength at this time was about 40 percent of normal. Another study confirmed that at day 28 after an injury the muscle regeneration was still delayed.

The key question regarding the healing of sports injuries is what therapy speeds up the healing time by increasing fibroblastic cells (cells that lay down new tissue). The current literature supports a treatment called Graston Technique. Graston Technique is a treatment used to break down scar tissue and initiate healing by increasing fibroblastic proliferation. I have personally seen some amazing outcomes with even in the toughest of cases such as a chronic tendonosis. There are five certified practitioners in state of NH, two of which work out of The Advanced Injury Treatment Center in Bedford, NH. I personally have been using this technique for approximately 6 years and find it to be incredibly effective for resolving soft tissue dysfunction.

I hope this blog sheds some light on what not to do when you suffer an injury. Remember the next time that you go for the bottle of Advil that it will ultimately slow down the healing process and delay your return to activity. I would also recommend being evaluated by a healthcare professional if symptoms persist. Our goal at the Advanced Injury Treatment Center is to get you back to activity in the shortest amount of and enjoying the lifestyle you deserve!