Dangers of Pain Medication Use in Teenage Athletes
Athletes are injured playing the sports they love all the time. Sometimes they get injured by overtraining or by taking a wrong turn on the grass. Often sports-related injuries can be prevented, but sometimes accidents just happen.
To prevent being sidelined, some athletes turn to painkillers. It's okay to use medicine to relieve pain while playing, as long as you are not making your injury worse. Ask your doctor before you decide to use a pain-relieving medication when dealing with an injury.
RisksSometimes, people get addicted to pain medication. Many athletes use pain medications to deal with chronic pain, but using these medications doesn't fix the injury. The longer you postpone the healing process, the longer it will take to get back to 100 percent.
Despite the risk of further injury and addiction, a huge number of athletes are using pain medications to cope with chronic pain. The most common nonprescription pain medications are: Advil, Tylenol, Motrin, Aspirin and Aleve.
Ibuprofen: Advil and Motrin are forms of ibuprofen, which decreases inflammation of muscles. Your muscles swell when there is an injury and this can cause the irritation that you perceive as painful. Doctors use both ibuprofen to ease muscle aches, headaches and symptoms associated with colds and flu. The only difference between Motrin and Advil is the dosage. Motrin usually comes in higher doses so doesn't need to be taken as much.
Naproxen: Aleve and Naposin are forms of Naproxen. Like ibuprofen, they reduce inflammation. Aspirin is another painkiller that decreases swelling. These pain relievers are commonly used for the same reasons as Ibuprofen. The main difference is in their side effects. For instance, Naproxen is less likely to cause heart problems than Ibuprofen. Aspirin is the only pain medication shown to reduce the risk of heart attack.
These painkillers help reduce pain and swelling. However, doctors suggest they shouldn't be used before or during endurance sports. Studies show that athletes don't get much benefit from taking ibuprofen during competition. They also warn that it may only mask pain, which can lead to increased risk of injury.
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