Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for athletes: an update

Ann Phys Rehabil Med. 2010 May;53(4):278-82, 282-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Mar 20.
[Article in English, French]


Sports medicine physicians often treat athletes in pain with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, there is a lack of high-quality evidence to guide NSAID use. Their adverse effects have clinical relevance, and their possible negative consequences on the long-term healing process are slowly becoming more obvious. This article provides some practical management guidelines for the use of NSAIDs, developed to help sports medicine physicians deal with frequent sports-related injuries. We do not recommend their use for muscle injuries, bone fractures (also stress fractures) or chronic tendinopathy. In all cases, if chosen, NSAID treatments should always be kept as short as possible and should take into account the specific type of injury, the level of dysfunction and pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / adverse effects
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Athletes*
  • Athletic Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / etiology
  • Contraindications
  • Fractures, Bone / drug therapy
  • Fractures, Bone / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Stress / drug therapy
  • Fractures, Stress / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Ligaments / injuries
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Tendinopathy / drug therapy
  • Tendinopathy / physiopathology


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal