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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Nieman 2006.

High-dose ibuprofen has no effect on soreness in ultra-marathoners

updated
Nieman DC, Henson DA, Dumke CL, Oley K, McAnulty SR, Davis JM, Murphy EA, Utter AC, Lind RH, McAnulty LS, Morrow JD. Ibuprofen use, endotoxemia, inflammation, and plasma cytokines during ultramarathon competition. Brain Behav Immun. 2006 Nov;20(6):578–84. PubMed #16554145.
Tags: medications, running, inflammation, fun, self-treatment, treatment, exercise, pain problems

PainSci summary of Nieman 2006?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focussed on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This experiment tested the effect of ibuprofen on hard-core marathoners. There were 29 ultra-marathoners on high doses of ibuprofen and 25 controls that completed the race without meds. There was no measurable difference in muscle damage or soreness between the two groups. Lead researcher David Niemen: “There is absolutely no reason for runners to be using ibuprofen.”

For some good mainstream journalism about this research see Convincing the Public to Accept New Medical Guidelines, by Aschwanden. For a good plain language tour of the topic in a major medical journal, see Warden.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to measure the influence of ibuprofen use during the 160-km Western States Endurance Run on endotoxemia, inflammation, and plasma cytokines. Subjects included 29 ultramarathoners who consumed 600 and 1200 mg ibuprofen the day before and on race day, respectively, and 25 controls that competed in the race but avoided ibuprofen and all other medications.

Blood and urine samples were collected the morning prior to and immediately following the race, and subjects recorded muscle soreness during the week following the race using a 10-point Likert scale (DOMS).

Race time (25.8+/-.6 and 25.6+/-.8 h, respectively) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE, 6-20 scale) (14.6+/-.4 and 14.5+/-.2, respectively) did not differ significantly between ibuprofen users and nonusers. Ibuprofen use compared to nonuse was linked to a smaller increase in urine creatinine (P=.038), higher plasma levels of lipopolysaccharide (group effect, P=.042), and greater increases (pre-to-post race) in serum C-reactive protein and plasma cytokine levels for interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-8, IL-1 ra, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, monocyte chemotactic protein 1, and macrophage inflammatory protein 1 beta, but not tumor necrosis factor alpha. Post-race DOMS and serum creatine kinase levels did not differ significantly between ibuprofen users and nonusers (20,621+/-3565 and 13,886+/-3068 microcal/L, respectively, P=.163).

In conclusion, ibuprofen use compared to nonuse by athletes competing in a 160-km race did not alter muscle damage or soreness, and was related to elevated indicators of endotoxemia and inflammation.

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This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog.