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Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318291ba98
Original Research

Use of Analgesics for Exercise-Associated Pain: Prevalence and Predictors of Use in Recreationally Trained College-Aged Students

Brewer, Christi B.1; Bentley, John P.2; Hallam, Jeffrey S.1,3; Woodyard, Catherine D.1; Waddell, Dwight E.1,4

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Abstract

Brewer, CB, Bentley, JP, Hallam, JS, Woodyard, CD, and Waddell, DE. Use of analgesics for exercise-associated pain: prevalence and predictors of use in recreationally trained college-aged students. J Strength Cond Res 28(1): 74–81, 2014—The objectives of this study were to examine the use of the analgesics for the relief of exercise-associated pain (EAP) and to examine personal and/or exercise characteristics that might potentially predict such use in recreationally trained college-aged individuals. Recreationally trained college-aged students (N = 263) were invited to complete a self-administered 16-item questionnaire concerning personal exercise habits and analgesic use for EAP. The primary dependent variable was analgesic use for EAP, and additional items sought to characterize patterns and behaviors related to the use. Descriptive statistics and frequencies were calculated for all items, and logistic regression was used to evaluate the ability of 4 variables to predict analgesic use for EAP: gender, length of time performing regular exercise, weekly frequency of aerobic exercise, and weekly frequency of resistance exercise. Approximately 36% of respondents reported analgesic use for EAP, with data indicating acute use for what is generally acute pain. With predictors considered individually, gender was a significant predictor, with female respondents being more likely to use analgesics for EAP (p = 0.04). With all predictors considered concurrently, the model did not significantly contribute to the prediction of use in this sample. Potential for misuse was highlighted by a large percentage of users who described themselves as very unlikely to follow label directions and more likely to take a dose exceeding recommendations. In light of research that reports a potential detriment to muscular regeneration when analgesics are consumed with exercise, it is important to be cognizant of the use of these drugs in individuals striving to improve muscular fitness. Coaches and trainers should educate athletes about the associated risks and caution those who may unnecessarily take analgesics.

© 2013 National Strength and Conditioning Association

 

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