Some Anti-inflammatories can REDUCE healing of sprains and strains!

By Andrea Rich – Physiotherapist


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as Nurofen, are a common medication used for pain relief after injury and their use has increased due to the restrictions on Opioid medications. There is evolving research into the effects these medications may have on the healing process. Ghosh et al, 2019 undertook a review of the research of NDAIDs and their effect on healing tissues such as tendons, ligaments and meniscus. It is important to note that there were few studies performed in adults and most studies were performed on animals.

They found that certain NSAIDs (selective NSAIDs such as celebrex and mobic) were found to have a negative effect on tissue healing and other NSAIDs (non-selective NSAIDs such as aspirin, Naproxen and ibuprofen) had no effect at all. Most studies utilising selective NSAIDs reported a negative effect on tendon healing and regeneration and can increase the rate of re-tear after and operative tendon repair.

Further research is being undertaken to assess the effect of these drugs on tissue healing. If you are undergoing surgery for a tendon repair, speak to your doctor or physio about the possible impact on pain relief drugs on the healing process.

Our physiotherapists know the best way to specifically diagnose and treat your soft tissue injury. Strengthening the injured tissue is essential, but with the correct dosage so that no more harm is done to the injured area. This treatment also needs to be progressed under the guidance of a physio for optimal tissue healing. Speak to us today to learn how to best manage your soft tissue injury.



Ghosh et al. (2019) DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.RVW.19.00055 Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Their Effect on Musculoskeletal Soft-Tissue Healing: A Scoping Review

Niloy Ghosh;Oluwadamilola Kolade;Edward Shontz;Yoav Rosenthal;Joseph Zuckerman;Joseph Bosco;Mandeep Virk;


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