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A 19-year-old female asked:

is it bad to take painkillers after a workout?

6 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ihab Ibrahim
Pain Management 29 years experience
What kind of : What kind of pain killers?
Dr. Wenjay Sung
Podiatry 14 years experience
Why?: Not sure what the reason for taking pain killers after a workout accomplishes. Is it bad? Depends if you truly damaged yourself like a hip fracture or disc herniation. At 19 y/o, i'm not sure there is a reason for pain killers after a workout.
Dr. Richard Rosenthal
Pain Management 36 years experience
No: There is no particular time that it is bad to take an analgesic. However, anti-inflammatory pain relievers are best taken before a strenuous workout. This is especially true if you're doing something that you don't usually do. On the other hand, if the painkiller is an opiate, don't take it until you get home-it is best not to drive immediately after taking a strong pain killer.
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Pain Management 27 years experience
It depends: NSAIDs may help BEFORE the workout (or after). Opioids are fine, but be careful driving.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
Why?: Is it for chronic pain, is it something that you are having pain working out that you need to take medication for it? Ideally with regard to exercise it is better to keep the activity level below that which would cause severe pain. If you are on chronic pain medication that you take on a schedule, can continue, but it would be better to have source of pain "fixed" if possible.
Dr. John Chiu
Dr. John Chiu answered
Allergy and Immunology 57 years experience
Occasionally: Everyone gets some pain at times after a very vigorous workout and in this case it is ok to take NSAID or Tylenol. However if you need an NSAID to control the pain after each and every workout, you are doing too much damage to your body- a little pain is probably good to build up strength but a lot may be harmful. Certainly opiates need be avoided.

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Last updated Apr 8, 2019
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