n International SportMed Journal - The role of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after acute exercise-induced muscle injuries : review article

Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



To examine the role of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in treating exercise-induced muscle injuries.

Electronic databases MEDLINE, PreMEDLINE, and SPORTDiscus were searched for articles published between 1966 and 2004 using the keywords "NSAID AND exercise AND skeletal muscle" in combination. The bibliographies of the retrieved articles were examined to identify other relevant papers, which also were included in the review.
The 26 articles reviewed in this paper described studies that used the injury models most relevant to exercise-induced muscle injuries, incorporated NSAIDs as the main therapy, included multiple modes of outcome measurement, and contained appropriate controls and follow-up.
Data were analysed with a focus on the method of muscle injury, NSAID dosing regimen, outcome measurement, control, and conclusion of study. The strengths and weaknesses of the studies were also examined.
The data on the role of NSAIDs in muscle injuries are conflicting. Some studies suggested that NSAIDs may improve muscle function acutely after injury, but delay muscle regeneration later. Other studies did not show any negative effect of NSAIDs on muscle healing. Most agreed that NSAIDs are most efficacious if given shortly after muscle injury, and that prolonged NSAID administration provides little benefit to muscle recovery.
NSAIDs should be given shortly after exercise-induced muscle injury to provide analgesia and reduce early inflammatory damages. There is no benefit to prolonged NSAID therapy. Future studies should focus on combining NSAIDs with other modalities, including growth factors and ex vivo gene therapy, to enhance muscle regeneration and prevent tissue fibrosis.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error