Older Players: How much Advil are you taking?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Cindysphinx, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I've been paying some attention to how much Advil I'm taking, and I want to compare notes with some of my fellow geezers. I'm 49, BTW.

    Anyway, I find that I need to take two Advil with breakfast. This will last 36 hours or so. Then most of my tennis-related joints start to ache the following evening. I will hold out until the next morning, and then have two more Advil. Sometimes I'm able to go 5 days or so without any Advil, but I have no idea what leads to these Advil-free stretches.

    If I am really feeling something from tennis, I'll take two before I play and ice knees, wrist and elbow afterward. And if I'm actually hurt, then I will take 2-3 before playing and may need to repeat that day.

    How about the rest of you older players?
     
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  2. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    36 hours?? The half-life of Advil is about two hours. The effective period is about two half-lives (four hours) and a drug is essentially entirely excreted in five half-lives (ten hours in this case.) One hopes you've never had blood pressure issues, in which case you shouldn't use Advil at all.
     
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  3. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Also, please tell us at what age your Advil habit / addiction began.

    Also (if you would) share at what age any other rituals you follow started (icing, heat, wraps, tennis elbow gizmos, massage treatments, etc).

    I'm 37 and my number for all of the above is zero, but I am wondering when I might be forced to start.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
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  4. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    I'm 18 and I take 2-3 Aleve every morning o_O
     
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  5. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    no advil for this old timer. drink IPA beer regularly and aspirin at times. thinking i need to move to CA or one of those states where i could get some better pain relief at times.
     
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  6. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I take 800mg of Advil 30 minutes before the match, and i play about 3 times per week.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I know. 36 hours. I kid you not.

    Let's see. I had a lesson on Tuesday afternoon. Didn't take Advil before or after.

    Had a clinic on Wednesday, and that's when I took the 2 Advil. Iced one knee afterward.

    This evening (Thursday) at around dinner, I started feeling my knees/shoulder/elbow/wrist. Go figure.

    No, no blood pressure issues. It runs in the family, but mine is good.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I didn't get heavy into Advil until 2005, when I tore my meniscus. It was a bumpy recovery, with lots of Advil before and after matches.

    I've never used any significant braces or wraps or gizmos or massage therapies or accupuncture or herbal remedies. When I have a problem, I ice a lot and rest it. If it gets chronic, I ask my pro if I'm doing anything wrong (we are troubleshooting my wrist right now, actually).

    I'm also riding my foam roller a lot lately. I think part of my knee issue is poor tracking, so I use the foam roller. Don't know if it is helping. I have good days and bad days and I have yet to connect the dots and figure out why . . . .
     
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  9. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Why? This doesn't sound like a good thing to be doing. Seen a doctor?
     
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  10. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    If you were so worried about Voltaren Gel's side effects, how can you stomach that much Advil?
     
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  11. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I am 44. No advil or other pain killers for me. ICE ICE ICE..
    I also regularly deep massage my joints and major muscles by myself.
    I often play 3 sets of singles, and sometimes upto 5 sets a day.
     
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  12. Ken Honecker

    Ken Honecker Rookie

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    I've been playing with a meniscus which I probably tore slightly about a year ago and then reinjured this spring. I talked to the docs and they did the whole "you're a big strong guy" (which I certainly am) "If it really starts bothering you we could scope it."

    I've trying to hold off until Fall when softball and tennis is over but right now it is swollen fore and aft all the time and after tennis I might find myself downing 4 Advil and 3 Asprin in a 8 hour period.

    Part of my problem is I have a really high threshold for pain so I'm playing on something I probably shouldn't and when the docs see me walking about and joking they don't think it's a big deal.

    Oh I'm 53 now.
     
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  13. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

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    When I first started playing again about a year ago, I was using 600mg twice a day for 2-3 days after playing. Now the knees rarely hurt. Unfortunately, Monday I suffered a mild wrist sprain (slapping at a shot). I've taken 600mg a couple of times this week. I have a team practice tonight (new team), so I'll probably take another dose before doing some light hitting tonight. I try to avoid long term use.
     
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  14. albino smurf

    albino smurf Professional

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    I pop an advil or two every three days or so as needed. Rarely need more than twice in a week. I stretch religiously after playing and do a big cool down walk for about two miles after each tennis session.
     
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  15. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    None for me these days.* Frankly, I really work hard to stay in pretty good shape (and keeping weight off to spare my joints)--for me that's stationary biking, weights, core exercises and stretching off the court plus tennis. I am a big fan of hot tub therapy and massages. I routinely ice my arm after long drill/playing sessions and during tournaments but not after every time I play. My racquets (BLX 95 6.1) are typically strung with gut or a quality synthetic (e.g., NXT) at a fairly low tension (53 lbs).

    *I used to be a big Advil user due to a hip problem developed after almost 40 years of tennis (started at 10, played in competion ever since--college in the late 70s-early 80s and tournaments ever since). Actually had a hip replacement about 20 months ago and now am back to full speed. The Advil was motivated almost solely by hip pain. I will tell you that my doctor thinks an Advil habit is a really bad thing.
     
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  16. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    after reading about ibuprofen's side effects, think a prescription pain med would be better for this old timer.
     
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  17. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I only need pain relief for my shoulder when it occasionally acts up. I've switched to softer strings and lower tensions. The shoulder only becomes a problem when it's damp out and when I hit serves off bad tosses and keep going.

    Right knee doesn't like stairs - but it's fine on the court - knock on wood.
     
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  18. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    The worst news about Advil is that it causes blood pressure spikes people aren't even aware of, sometimes during sleep. BP is elevated during REM sleep and some data published last year showed that BP spikes during sleep are closely correlated with risk of stroke. Nephrologists consider Advil (and the similar Aleve) to be horrible and hazardous drugs. To use them for athletic performance, when BP goes up in any event, is insane. For athletic pain, Tylenol makes much more sense. Normal doses don't impact the liver, there's no BP problems, and it doesn't interfere with the inflammation that actually heals the damage you did playing the sport.
     
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  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    You're kidding, right? I would imagine that most prescription pain meds could very well have side effects that are much worse than IB.
     
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  20. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    not kidding. do the research...
     
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  21. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    bad call is likely correct. Even an opiate like oxycodone or hydromorphone, assuming you're not sedated by it, would be safer for athletic performance than ibuprofen because it doesn't impact BP significantly. But I think I'd consider a different sport if I needed analgesics to play.
     
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  22. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    I switched completely away from Advil to avoid the anti-inflammatory effects mentioned above. Overall I prefer to treat pain with ice, heat and therapeutic exercise.
     
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  23. neverstopplaying

    neverstopplaying Professional

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    Enlightening thread for me. At 50, I do take Advil occasionally as a tennis-related anti-inflammatory or for pain relief, but not as much as some of my hitting partners.

    I do get regular massages, which are great (1-2 times per 2 weeks).

    I'm careful with racquets and string combinations (as a confessed racquetaholic), so I change setups if i get recurring pain.

    I use ice and take baths if necessary.

    Lastly, I now play only on clay in the summer and avoid outdoor hard courts.
     
    #23
  24. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    there are opiate based mild pain killers that are OTC in other countries outside the US...but if someone is wants to abuse be it food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc then it will happen. just ask Rush about his oxy adventures...hopefully it's in the past tense now.
     
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  25. ClayCourt1

    ClayCourt1 New User

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    Great advice! I am 46 and getting there myself!
     
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  26. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I'm over 40, I've got smooth footwork, I'm not in great shape at all anymore, but I walk, swim, hike, cycle and play a lot of tennis. I used to play at a high level. Now I'm a 5.0.

    Two to four pills per year. Not for anything sports related. Unless tequila or Jagermeister is a sport (I say yes to a couple of shots maybe twice a year).
     
    #26
  27. Jim Hendricks

    Jim Hendricks Rookie

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    I'm 58, have had two knee surgeries and take two Advil before playing.
     
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  28. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't get it. Don't you 45+ people ache just because you're 45+?

    I guess I am a freak of nature. My joints ache when I *don't* exercise. They never hurt during a match.

    Like, I'm about to stand up from this computer and I will have to unfold myself like an umbrella. No amount of stretching seems to make any difference, sadly.

    My various docs and physical therapists over the years have told me that my joints are very tight. I have had docs examine my knees and go get a trainee so they can observe how tight they are. I guess a kneecap is supposed to have some play in it so you can wriggle it. Good luck wriggling mine.
     
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  29. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

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    I ache ever since I passed 35. I'm 38 now and different things ache all the time. Last year I was popping 2-4 advil a day due to a back/rib pain that nagged me during and after playing. I make a concerted effort to not take too many motrin anymore and just take time off from tennis to recover a bit. Cold showers after playing and icing down affected joints have been key for me. I still pop a couple for my migranes tho.
     
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  30. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

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    Also, Too much advil gives me gastritis.
     
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  31. Steve1954

    Steve1954 New User

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    Interesting thread. Since I developed some soreness in my wrist recently, I've been taking 400 mg of ibuprofen after my regular doubles matches on Sundays. In addition, I wrap my wrist before play, ice down my wrist for 20 minutes afterwards and then put on a wrist sleeve to keep the wrist warm and stable. I don't take any ibuprofen on Thursdays, which is when I hit with my practice partner. I do wrap the wrist, though, and ice it afterwards, after such light hitting. And no, I don't ache just because I am 56. The only other time I took ibuprofen for tennis was when I had a bout of tennis elbow a couple of years ago. After reading this thread, though, I'm going to ask my nephew about ibuprofen use (he's a doctor).
     
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  32. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Don't know which prescription painkillers you are referring to. I've been staying away from pretty much all prescription drugs since the early '90s. Other than Celebrex, which ones are commonly prescribed these days?

    The ones that I have researched, the selective COX-2 inhibitors appear to have some pretty serious side effects. These are relatively newer generation NSAIDs that selectively inhibit COX-2 without inhibiting COX-1. COX-1 has a protective effect on the stomach/GI tract. The older NSAIDs (IB, naproxen, aspirin) inhibit both COX-1 and COX-2 which is why they are particularly brutal on the GI. The selective COX-2 inhibitors were thought to be the answer to this problem.

    However, it appears that, while easier on the stomach/GI, they still promote an increased risk of renal failure. There is also compelling evidence that indicates an increase in risk for heart attack, thrombosis, and stroke. No thanks. Most of these have been pulled off the market (by the FDA or the manufacturer) because of these risks. To my knowledge, the only one of these that remain readily available is Celebrex (Celecoxib). Even this one had an FDA alert imposed on it a few years back. There have been rumors that this one may eventually be pulled off the market as well.

    Selective COX-2 inhibitors (Coxibs) - status
    .
     
    #32
  33. jpr

    jpr New User

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    interesting thread...i'm not alone

    38...really bad GE issue. was up to 4 advil before each match.

    ran into a good player who attributes his kidney failure to excessive advil. scared me to cut it out altogether. if i cant play through the pain, then i shouldnt play.
     
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  34. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Am I the only one who thinks it doesn't sound right to be popping in Advil on a regular basis? My philosophy on anything from tennis to running to any other physical activity is to listen to your body. If you are in that much pain, then you are asking for a serious injury. Whatever happened to good old fashioned REST? This is why I don't sympathize with the elder players who are on the court practically every day and complaining about all their injuries.
     
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  35. Ken Honecker

    Ken Honecker Rookie

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    I have a hard time imagining that the average player could take enough over the counter stuff to do much harm. Most of the time you here about someone developing problems it is a pro who had taken mega doses for years.

    Heck way, way, back in my teens I used to take 2 asprin if I had a head ache or I didn't even feel any effect.

    As for REST some things that doesn't cure. I had a shoulder that was so bad I couldn't pull the sheets across me in bed with that arm. After babying it for 10 months I went to PT, learned that I had to rough it up and started lifting weights again. The first couple of times I did arm curls I could feel the tendons whipping around in my shoulder like rubberbands but after a while everything settled down.

    Also most of the injuries old folks carry around with them are ones they have earned over the years and they aren't going anywhere.
     
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  36. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I didn't have problems when I was in my 20s either.

    Check in with me in a couple of decades, 'kay?
     
    #36
  37. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Cindy,

    As recently as a couple of years ago I would bang out 2 500mg tylenol in a 3 set match(singles)

    I now accept the pain and have reduced it to a max of 1 500mg tablet, often a small bottle of gatoraide and a lot of water will get me through....

    Of course it is much better on hot days, cooler days it can be a real struggle.

    My thoughts are any med that works as well as tylenol and advil dot cannot be good for you.....the pain must be part of the game, pain is nature's warning signal.

    Good topic.
     
    #37
  38. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    You weren't playing tennis in your 20s. How many days a week do you play tennis?
     
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  39. mlktennis

    mlktennis Semi-Pro

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    Nothing on a regular basis is good except good clean living. That includes Marijuana for you pot heads out there! :)
     
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  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It varies. Some weeks are zero days per week. Some weeks are seven times per week. I played my last league match on July 1, and I have played twice since then. I will play again today, and I anticipate twice more next week.

    No, I wasn't playing tennis in my 20s, but I don't think I understand your point there.

    Perhaps you will be one of the lucky ones who has no chronic problems or overall deterioration at age 50 and feel decades younger than your age by then. I hope so. And I hope the young folks you encounter then will be understanding about it.
     
    #40
  41. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Injuries come in all shapes in sizes, that is for sure. Some are "unavoidable" accidents. Others (I believe) are the result of years of neglect and not addressing a potential problem until it becomes an actual problem. To that end I am taking steps as a young man to ward off "earning" injuries as I get older. Just doing basic weight, cardio work, and eating reasonably.

    But, I am just a young 37 year old talking out of my ass. Perhaps I will learn I am dead wrong in a few years. But, I do believe many people get into trouble by "allowing" problems to develop and then trying to treat the problem instead of taking steps to reduce the chances of the problem starting at all (or at least delaying the inevitable until I am too old to care).

    I look at a man like Jack Lalanne. He is 95 and (last I knew) still appears to be in fine physical shape and full of life. I don't think you need to be as fanatical as Jack to reap the benefits however. But I could be wrong (I was wrong once before).
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
    #41
  42. tennislefty

    tennislefty New User

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    ok i need to respond..Advil is safe. im in the medical field and my pharmacist friend states the body can handle up to 3 gms/day (that's 15 tabs/caps). it has antiinfamatory properties which aid in healing. Inflamation itself does not heal. its the body's respose to something (many factors). Tylenol is the safeset pain reducer for gi upsets. All drugs should be used with caution and you want to rethink why you need to take it. most od what Ibuprofen does is cover up your symptoms. The issue i see more is tennis/sports players not looking at the bigger picture. The fact is tennis is hard on the body. It is not a fitness program in itself. You need to workout and have a fitness program that will than allow the body to perform at tennis. proper weight training and cardio are necsessary to support the muslces around tendons, joints and ligaments. for example,: its immposible to do lateral motion without muscular support around the knee, it will eventually breakdown or cause an injury. all these responses regarding knee, hip, back, shoulder etc. are due to lack of conditioning. it has been proven that most all tennis elbows are corolated to weak shoulder muscles. back issues are due to weak core muscles. I would not reccomned anyone doing tennis until they improve their fintess. and for ollinger who has in increased BP while in REM sleep, you are timebomb waiting to explode..you need to address why you have high BP, cardiac issues? obesity? bp's are lowest in sleep states...
     
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  43. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Voltaren is much more potent NSAID than motrin. though 800mg is pretty high dose. it is only one time before the match so i am ok. maybe i will try voltaren gel right before the match instead ?
     
    #43
  44. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    you are right. As little as Advil 400mg three times a week before excersice can raise your blood pressure and could increase your chance of heart attack in 6 month or more. This is a FACT that has been published in new england journal of medicine................:(
     
    #44
  45. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    No, I'm with you.
     
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  46. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I bet if you mention to your pharmacist friend that you passed on his advice that the body can handle up to 3 grams of Advil a day with no qualifying or cautionary remarks, he won't like it much.
     
    #46
  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think some of the young folks posting on this thread don't fully grasp this as applied to older people:

    Rest is your friend.

    Rest is your enemy.

    By that I mean that if you have an injury, of course you shouldn't play on it and should rest it.

    The problem, when you get older, is that rest also causes problems (at least, for me). The sorts of generic aches and pains one starts getting with age do not respond to rest -- in my experience they often get worse. That is a big difference between a young person and an older one, IMHO. The more sedentary I am, the more everything "locks up."

    When I have a significant layoff from exercise, I start to have different problems. I feel like when I take time off, I am basically trading one problem for another. Yep, elbow feels better due to a break from tennis, but now my back hurts. Yep, knee feels better if I don't do sprints in my exercise class, but then it hurts a lot more when I run down a lob in a match.

    But surely we can all agree that an active lifestyle -- even an "overactive" lifestyle as Raiden describes -- is 1000% better for an older person than a sedentary one. The people my age who don't exercise are . . . well, they're a mess. They might not be taking Advil, but they are taking *something.*

    And I will bet any amount of money that Jack LaLane eats his share of Advil too!
     
    #47
  48. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Finding that magical spot between being great shape and overuse injury is really the search for eternal youth.

    Less jarring weight lifting, cycling, swimming, cross country skiing etc. seem to help tilt the balance away from painful joint syndromes, if you are going to stay in shape for a higher level of tennis.
     
    #48
  49. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is so-so as an anti-inflammatory. It only inhibits one of the many pathways of inflammation.

    It is actually a better pain reliever than an anti-inflammatory.

    For the athlete, the risk is playing on into an over-use syndrome problem, including major joint (knee, shoulder, hip, elbow, wrist) problems.

    Stay hydrated if you take any of the anti-inflammatories. The risk for kidney injury goes way up if you get dehydrated, as high concentrations of these medications occur because they are being filtered out in the kidney, and can affect the fragile kidney cells. This is more likely to happen during the hot summer.
     
    #49
  50. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Still hoping to see some feedback from you guys regarding post #38 (page 2).
     
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