This article was in the New York Times yesterday – 7th Feb 2012. It’s only short so do read it.
The research investigated how massage could help restore and revive muscles immediately post-exercise, but I guess we can assume that some of the same mechanisms may still apply if you have a massage several hours or even a day later. Nice to have some science behind what athletes and massage therapists knew all along – ie massage helps.
Interesting to see that they say taking ibuprofen reduces inflammation, but can reduces healing, too. I’ve been told this by various physios and doctors so have always suggested to people who have injured themselves that paracetamol might be the optimum pain killer for the first 48 hours post injury. The non-technical argument is that the body is very good at healing itself and it’s best not to swallow drugs that may interfear with this brilliant process. My info is that after the inital acute inflammation phase, it’s ok to take ibuprofen to help reduce inflammation along with RICE, MICE etc. (By the way, this is not what every medic believes…).
There’s also good info on why taking prophylactic ibuprofen is not a good idea in endurance events, especially when it’s hot and you may be sweating even more than usual. It can affect the way the kidneys work – and therefore affect your fluid balance. I’ll find the link to a very interesting article which I’d urge all endurance athletes to read.
Please remember I’m not a doctor and am not medically trained and I shouldn’t prescribe or recommend any drugs to anyone. (But I can tell you what I’d do under the same circumstances…)