Karen is a 47-year-old teacher who is training for her first 5K road race. She runs 3 to 4 days each week, then walks the other days. Over the past 2 weeks, she has begun to experience pain in the outside of her right hip. Her pain is worst while running and lying on her right side; she experiences hip pain and stiffness when taking her first steps in the morning and walking up stairs, and also notes a dull ache with prolonged sitting and standing. She typically performs stretches for 5 minutes before her runs. Karen had not run consistently before she began training for the 5K.
A doctor may prescribe medication or may suggest that a patient with a soft tissue condition try over-the-counter drugs to help relieve pain and/or inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce inflammation and pain. There are many different NSAIDs, including aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen. These drugs are available by prescription and over the counter. A doctor will determine which drug is appropriate for a patient's condition based on factors such as age, other medical problems, daily habits, other medications taken, side effects, and cost of the drug.