Ibuprofen/Ibalgin – Fighter against inflammation and pain – but does it really help us?

There is probably no runner who has not experienced unpleasant pain during sports activity. Whether it was a muscle strain or an inflammation, that’s when many of us often reach for the well-known “vitamin I”, i.e. Ibuprofen, Ibalgin etc. After all, it is logical that if our muscles/joints/tendons ache, inflammation has probably occurred in them, and if we take a painkiller that also has anti-inflammatory effects, we can’t do anything wrong.

First of all, it is necessary to realize that inflammation is not immediately a bad thing for us, which must be stopped at once by administering the above mentioned antiinflammatories. When running, microtears naturally occur in our muscles as a result of muscle contraction. The microtears automatically stimulate an inflammatory response, signaling the body to deliver the nutrients needed to initiate the healing process. And this is where the issue with antiinflammatories is.

Several studies have confirmed that when taking the drugs like Ibalgin or Ibuprofen during sports activity, they suppress the protein bonds that occur in the muscles after intense exercise.

What does it mean?

By taking an anti-inflammatory drug, we prevent inflammation from starting the healing process in our body. In addition, if we continue sports after taking the medicine, we increase the risk of long-term damage to the intestines and kidneys (this applies mainly to endurance sports).

So how to approach an injury? Complete the activity at all costs? Or approach the injury with humility and choose the path of the natural healing process in our body?

For us, it is definitely the second option. Save your medication until you really need it. Giving the body natural rest and regeneration is the best choice for us. If you are looking for a way to prevent muscle, tendon or joint pain after a heavy load, choose natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, berries or green tea.

Think twice the next time you want to reach for anti-inflammatories before, during or after strenuous physical activity, just to get rid of unwanted pain. Not only will this temporary “patch” not help you at all, on the contrary, you will slow down your recovery. Try to focus your efforts on the source of the pain instead and work on it!

Big Bear’s Ultra does not support the use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibalgin, Ibuporfen, etc. during ultra runs. Although anti-inflammatory drugs are part of the first-aid kits at the control stations, if it is necessary to administer them to the participants, the volunteers have instructions to withdraw the participant from the race and classify him as a DNF.