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Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise

      Abstract

      Ginger has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects in rodents, but its effect on human muscle pain is uncertain. Heat treatment of ginger has been suggested to enhance its hypoalgesic effects. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 11 days of raw (study 1) and heat-treated (study 2) ginger supplementation on muscle pain. Study 1 and 2 were identical double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized experiments with 34 and 40 volunteers, respectively. Participants consumed 2 grams of either raw (study 1) or heated (study 2) ginger or placebo for 11 consecutive days. Participants performed 18 eccentric actions of the elbow flexors to induce pain and inflammation. Pain intensity, perceived effort, plasma prostaglandin E2, arm volume, range-of-motion and isometric strength were assessed prior to and for 3 days after exercise. Results Raw (25%, –.78 SD, P = .041) and heat-treated (23%, –.57 SD, P = .049) ginger resulted in similar pain reductions 24 hours after eccentric exercise compared to placebo. Smaller effects were noted between both types of ginger and placebo on other measures. Daily supplementation with ginger reduced muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise, and this effect was not enhanced by heat treating the ginger.

      Perspective

      This study demonstrates that daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury. Our findings agree with those showing hypoalgesic effects of ginger in osteoarthritis patients and further demonstrate ginger's effectiveness as a pain reliever.

      Key words

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      Linked Article

      • RETRACTED: Concentric and Eccentric Exercise
        The Journal of PainVol. 14Issue 11
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          This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal ( http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy ). This article has been retracted at the request of the Publisher. Similar versions of this Letter to the Editor were published in other scientific journals. This is considered to breach publication guidelines adhered to by The Journal of Pain. This article has already been published in several places including: J Hum Kinet 37:5-6, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2013-0019 ; J Sports Sci Med 12:608-609, 2013; Sports Health 5:306, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1941738113491386 ; J Ultrasound Med 32:2047-2048, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.7863/ultra.32.11.2047 ; J Sports Sci Med 12:608-609, 2013; Acta Physiol Hung 100:355-356, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/APhysiol.100.2013.3.12 ; Enferm Clin 23:177-178, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enfcli.2013.05.001 .
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