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Take Two, Part Two – Anti Inflammatory Medication

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Pain ManagementYesterday, I wrote a post about my possible fracture of my tailbone (read it here) and my concern for its healing. Growing up, pain management medication and other medicine was taken very rarely and only when it was really needed. A couple of Tylenol once in a blue moon was used for a headache, and DayQuil or NyQuil during the occasional cold or flu. Other than that, not much else.

When it comes to pain, I tend to tough it out there as well. I’ve always prided myself in having a high threshold for pain, plus my philosophy is that if you can’t feel the pain, you don’t really know what is going on in your body. Pain = information. With my recent tailbone injury, I was following this same philosophy. When the doctor encouraged the use of Advil for anti-inflammation, however, I decided to heed her advice. I took the Advil, and wouldn’t you know, the pain was diminished substantially.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m a bit too curious for my own good. I started to wonder about the inflammation process and its role in healing. With a little research, you’ll quickly find that inflammation is actually an important part of healing injuries and fractures, and some studies show that anti-inflammatory drugs might actually slow the healing process. Now I’m confused. Why would you want to prolong your healing process, or even hinder it in the long term, in the name of reducing pain in the short term?

How have you found pain management to impact your healing process? Would you rather forsake comfort for the longer term benefits?

References:

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Fitness
  • http://twitter.com/HawkeyeBrooke Brooke Schubert

    Interesting, and it makes sense that infammation would be part of healing. Generally I try not to take medication of any kind if I can help it, however I completely ruptured my hamstring nearly two years ago, and I still struggle with pain on occasion.
    I try to do my normal workouts, but there are nights when the hamstring aches so bad that I can’t sleep, and I usually break down and take advil when it gets to be too much to stand. I’ve been told the repaired hamstring will never be as strong as it once was and I have done my best to continue to build up the muscle and generally the pain is bearable, but I do still pop an advil on the occasional bad night.