Sports Medicine Corner
I’m not ashamed to admit it. I hurt after I play. I hurt in the initial hours and over the next day or two.
And I’ve been known to take a painkiller for comfort. They don’t speed healing, they just make the coming hours a bit less uncomfortable.
F-MARC, FIFA’s medical research group (of which I am a member), has been collecting injury data at every world championship event since 1998. Beginning in 2002, F-MARC added a survey of supplement and medication use by participants in the FIFA World Cup.
For the 2002 and 2006 events, over 10,000 substances were reported. Players were taking an average of 1.8 substances per player per match; 57% of which were nutritional and 43% were medicinal.
Twenty percent of all substances (and nearly 50% of all medicinal items) were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs). Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen are all NSAIDs and are available over the counter.
Over half the players in those surveys took NSAIDs at least once during the tournament, 31% took NSAIDs before at least one match, and one quarter used NSAIDs for two of their three first-round matches. Over 10% took NSAIDs before and after every match.
Players were taking NSAIDs ahead of play to try and build up some levels of the drugs in their system in the hopes of experiencing…
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