PainSci notes on Hyldahl 2010:
“The results of this study suggest that the topical application of ibuprofen is not an effective treatment for muscle soreness after an unaccustomed gym exercise. Furthermore, our results show that there is no sex difference in the soreness response and that older subjects have less soreness in response to a similar exercise stimulus as young subjects.”
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.
PURPOSE: Muscle soreness is a common symptom after novel exercise and may influence exercise adherence. This study examined the effect of an ibuprofen topical gel and the effect of age and sex on muscle soreness after a gym exercise.
METHODS: One hundred and six participants completed six sets of 10 repetitions of the elbow and knee flexor muscles. Thirty-six hours after exercise, participants were randomized to apply an ibuprofen topical gel or placebo treatment to the affected muscle groups. Soreness evaluations were taken each hour for the first 6 h (36-42 h), then at 48, 60, 66, 72, 84, 90, 96, and 108 h after exercise. Subjects then returned to the laboratory after 3 wk and repeated the same study protocol with the opposite arm/leg and treatment.
RESULTS: We found no significant differences in soreness between the active ibuprofen gel and the placebo treatment and no difference in effectiveness between men and women or between older and younger subjects. For the placebo groups, there was no sex differences in muscle soreness; however, when the data were analyzed by dividing participants into young (18-29 yr) and old (40-65 yr) cohort, the old cohort reported significantly less soreness in response to the elbow flexion exercise than the young cohort (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that the topical application of ibuprofen is not an effective treatment for muscle soreness after an unaccustomed gym exercise. Furthermore, our results show that there is no sex difference in the soreness response and that older subjects have less soreness in response to a similar exercise stimulus as young subjects.
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.