Dangers of NSAIDs for Athletes

Athletes at every level look for ways to improve performance, reduce recovery times, and get a leg up on the competition. Runners, cyclists, crossfit athletes, and competitors at the recreational and professional levels often turn to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. Athletes should, however, be aware of the dangers of NSAIDs.

What do NSAIDs do for athletes?

Some athletes use NSAIDs for pain relief and to reduce inflammation after a workout, race, or competition. Stiff muscles, sore legs, and achy joints are common for athletes, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs offer convenient relief for mild and moderate pain.

Others take NSAIDs in the pursuit of marginal gains. There’s a growing trend for athletes to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as a preventative to combat fatigue, inflammation, and the sensation of pain during athletic performance.

The problem is that there are risks with NSAIDs, but people treat them as though they are completely safe.

What are the dangers of NSAIDs?

Athletes and non-athletes alike are so comfortable with NSAIDs that many will they take them on a regular basis without reading labels or considering the risks. Ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen – or their brand name equivalents: Advil, Bayer, and Aleve – are all types of NSAIDs

People widely consider non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs harmless, especially over-the-counter NSAIDs. Over-the-counter drugs are generally safe, but only when used properly. Athletes often don’t consider the risks of NSAIDs, or aren’t even aware that NSAIDs could be harmful.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with the exception of aspirin, can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, increase blood pressure, and lead to other cardiovascular problems.
  • All NSAIDs, including aspirin, carry the risk of causing intestinal bleeding, allergic reactions, and skin reactions.
  • The FDA has issued warnings that NSAIDs can cause heart attacks or strokes.

Occasionally taking ibuprofen for a headache or hip pain isn’t the problem. The risk increases with higher dosages and long-term use of these drugs. Things get dangerous when athletes regularly take NSAIDs to relieve chronic pain, or for performance gains.

Is there an alternative to NSAIDs?

Health experts recommend finding alternatives to NSAIDs for joint and muscle pain. PEMF therapy for athletes is a safe and effective alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

In addition to pain and inflammation reduction, PEMF therapy for athletes provides a number of health benefits:

  • Improved performance
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Improved range of motion
  • Better cell function, cell hydration, and increased cellular metabolism.
  • Reduced recovery times
  • Faster healing for wounds, contusions, and bone fractures
  • Decreased lactic acid build up
  • Decreased muscle and joint stiffness
  • Increased energy and endurance

PEMF therapy is a safe alternative to prescription or over the counter medicines without any adverse side effects. Pulsed electromagnetic therapy promotes also provides a range of performance benefits. Contact PEMF Complete online, or call 877-473-6377, for more information about PEMF therapy for athletes.

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