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Thread: painkillers in sport

  1. #1
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    painkillers in sport

    Very interesting programme on the radio:

    Gain Without the Pain: Legal Drugs in Sport
    File on 4

    Painkillers in sport: a form of legal doping or an excessive reliance on medication that puts the long-term health of athletes in jeopardy?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08rq745

    Well worth a listen.
    John McIntosh
    Rossendale Harriers

  2. #2
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    NSAIDs - ibuprofen etc - most people get away with taking them but they do have a long list of nasty side effects, particularly as people get older. To illustrate how effective they are I read about a chap who was barely able to walk because of blisters in the Marathon des Sables - after a decent dose of ibuprofen he was able to jump up and down on his bare feet. I know some ultra runners take them to "prevent" pain during long events - madness as far as I am concerned, but then I have never done significant distances.

  3. #3
    Master DrPatrickBarry's Avatar
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    I would not have been able to finish the North York Moors 100 over the weekend because of the pain in the soles of both feet. The last 4 Kms were a nightmare as I had ran out of drugs and the very rocky bridleways were hell on my feet.

  4. #4
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    As I understand it, a doping agent is generally thought to be something that enhances performance. Using painkillers merely stops whatever performance you have from being eroded by pain. So, in my book, it ain't doping.
    I am Kuno.

  5. #5
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    Surely the fundamental point is that the purpose of pain is to alert us to when there is something wrong with our body. Don't we all rely on pain to tell us when we have acquired an injury? And the reduction of that pain to monitor our recovery?

    So the use of pain-killers to allow us to continue with an activity that is damaging our body is simply daft: a form of self-harming.

    I can see that pain-killers would be justified for dealing with chronic pain, e.g. for a cancer patient; but for acute pain, especially caused by sporting activity, we should ask ourselves whether we should be continuing with that activity. Deal with the cause, don't just attack the symptoms.

  6. #6
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    Nah, pain is for wimps!
    Look, I have pretty bad arthritis in my feet from 30 years of fell running. Without painkillers, I'm hobbling in a few miles. Good old Ibuprofen helps me get around a 10 miler in reasonable shape. The damage is already done and if I want to further the knackering in the cause of enjoyment, why not? There's no point handing back the beardy fella a pristine unworn bod when your times up is there?
    I am Kuno.

  7. #7
    Master molehill's Avatar
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    A stand against anti inflamatories and pain killers is fine when one is young and immortal, but in later years following a lifetime of sports and trashing ones body, most of us (like Wheeze) have a simple choice.

    Keep going and enjoying running (or whatever) for as long as possible with the help of the above, when needed.

    Accept everything hurts all the time, running becomes a complete misery and give up.

    With age and wisdom most of us choose the former.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RaceTheSweeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheeze View Post
    Nah, pain is for wimps!
    Look, I have pretty bad arthritis in my feet from 30 years of fell running. Without painkillers, I'm hobbling in a few miles. Good old Ibuprofen helps me get around a 10 miler in reasonable shape. The damage is already done and if I want to further the knackering in the cause of enjoyment, why not? There's no point handing back the beardy fella a pristine unworn bod when your times up is there?
    I love that last sentence hahaha ;-) Too true! I rarely use pain killers but if I think I need them then I will take them. I'm sure I'd be just as quick (slow) without them but I'd be concentrating on the pain and not enjoying my running at all. A few weeks ago I had a problem with my left knee, it was so painful when coming down hill. I took ibuprofen 3 hours before going on long runs or climbing hills for about 4 weeks. All is good now as I was able to strengthen the knee by running and sports massage. I wouldn't of been able to run or have the range of movement I had without using the ibuprofen so would of been out for a lot longer.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Travs's Avatar
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    I would prefer not to use them. But, for example in April, 17 miles into a 42 mile race, I was in enough pain that it was either drop a couple of painkillers and continue, or pull out.

    Logic would say to pull out and race another day, but if we were logical we probably wouldn't be fell-racing.

    I'm sure it's not best medical practise to drop painkillers during an endurance event, but it's probably not best practice to run 45 miles in one go either.

  10. #10
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    Right on both counts travs!
    I am Kuno.

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