If you do take an over the counter pain medication, be sure to follow the directions closely. In general, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or ketoprofen (Orudis KT) are helpful for those suffering from a sports injury that results in pain, swelling, and inflammation. Generic brands work in the same way and must meet the same standards as the brand name equivalent, but cost less. Read and follow the label directions and don't take more than the recommended dose. Also, don't use any OTC drugs for more than 10 days, unless your doctor or pharmacist tells you it's OK to do so.
In the past several years, some newer medications have come on the market; these are commonly referred to as COX-2 inhibitors . Remember, all NSAIDs work against cyclooxygenase (COX). Traditional NSAIDs (. Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve) work against both COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 and COX-2 are both types of cyclooxygenase enzymes that function in your body. The new medications (. Celebrex) work primarily against COX-2, and allow COX-1 to function normally. Because COX-1 is more important in producing the protective lining in your gut (gastric mucosa), these newer NSAIDs are believed to have less of a risk of causing stomach ulcers.