Kinesiology researcher comments on ibuprofen risks

Saija Kontulainen, a professor in the College of Kinesiology, was recently cited in a Time magazine article on the risks of using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such a ibuprofen to treat injuries.

${vImageAlt}
Saija Kontulainen specializes in biomechanics and musculoskeletal health.

The drugs are available without a prescription and are considered safe and effective, especially when treating minor to moderate headaches, muscles aches and joint pain. However, if they're used more frequently over a long period of time, they may pose a risk to other internal functions.

Ibupforen, in particular, reduces inflammation, but it can also affect a group of chemicals called prostaglandins, which assist in bone formation. Weight training is known to boost prostaglandin production, but taking an NSAID after training can cancel out that benefit. 

“NSAIDs shut down the favorable mechanism of prostaglandin synthesis that’s needed for bone formation," she explained. "You lose that benefit to the bone, so the bone is pretty much the same as if you did no weight training."

Read more at Time.

The study referenced in the article by Dr. Kontulainen was part of Whitney Duff's Ph.D. thesis, co-supervised by Dr. Kontulainen and Dr. Phil Chilibeck, both Kinesiology faculty members.  A journal article featuring the study was recently published in April, 2017.