Seven articles on PainSci cite Nieman 2006: (1) Pain & Injury Survival Tips (2) Icing for Injuries, Tendinitis, and Inflammation (3) The Complete Guide to IT Band Syndrome (4) Complete Guide to Plantar Fasciitis (5) Post-Exercise, Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (6) Repetitive Strain Injuries Tutorial (7) Quackery Red Flags
PainSci summary of Nieman 2006: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused 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.
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.
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
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.
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. A few highlights:
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.
- Association Between Plantar Fasciitis and Isolated Gastrocnemius Tightness. Nakale 2018 Foot Ankle Int.
- No Added Benefit of Combining Dry Needling With Guideline-Based Physical Therapy When Managing Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Stieven 2020 J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.