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South African Journal of Sports Medicine

On-line version ISSN 2078-516X
Print version ISSN 1015-5163


THORPE, R; BLOCKMAN, M; TALBERG, H  and  BURGESS, T. The knowledge and attitudes of South African-based runners regarding the use of analgesics during training and competition. SA J. Sports Med. [online]. 2022, vol.34, n.1, pp.1-6. ISSN 2078-516X.

BACKGROUND: The use of analgesics is prevalent in runners, with the associated potential for serious harm. However, there is limited information regarding runners' knowledge and attitudes towards the use of analgesics in relation to running OBJECTIVES: To describe South African-based runners' knowledge and attitudes regarding running-related analgesic use METHODS: This study has a descriptive, cross-sectional design. South African-based runners, over the age of 18 who ran at least one race in the year preceding the study were included in this study. Participants completed an online questionnaire, including sections on demographic information, training and competition history, pain medication use, and knowledge and attitudes regarding running-related analgesic use RESULTS: Data from 332 participants were analysed. Attitudes regarding the use of analgesics in relation to running were generally positive; however, knowledge was poor, with only 20% of participants achieving adequate knowledge scores (75% or above). Very few (n=49; 15%) had both adequate knowledge and positive attitudes, with most respondents (n=188; 58%) having inadequate knowledge and negative attitudes. Negative attitudes towards the use of analgesics were found to increase the odds of running-related analgesic use (OR 2.32; 95% 0:1.31-4.11 CONCLUSION: Knowledge regarding running-related use of analgesics was inadequate. Despite a lack of knowledge, attitudes were positive. Participants displayed positive attitudes towards safe practice regarding running-related analgesic use, but these did not translate into good practice. Targeted interventions are required to educate runners and improve their knowledge of all the effects associated with running-related analgesic use

Keywords : athletes; NSAIDs; performance; exercise.

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