Abstracts for poster presentation Treatment approaches (medical/interventional): Folk medicine/herbal remedy| Volume 9, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT 2, 25, April 2008

(197) Short term effects of 2-grams of dietary ginger on muscle pain, inflammation and disability induced by eccentric exercise

      Animal studies suggest Zingiber officinale, commonly known as ginger, has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Examined here were the short term effects of a single, large dose of ginger on muscle pain, inflammation (swelling), and disability (range-of-motion; ROM) induced by eccentric exercise. Twenty-eight adults (15 female, 13 male) performed 24 eccentric actions of their non-dominant elbow flexors. In a double-blind, cross-over design, participants ingested ginger or placebo 24-hours (15 placebo, 13 ginger) and 48-hours (13 placebo, 15 ginger) after exercise. Pain intensity (0-100 visual analog scale), arm volume (water displacement), and ROM (goniometry) were assessed before and 45-minutes after ingestion of ginger or placebo. All participants were affected negatively by the eccentric exercise which on average (±SD) caused moderate arm pain (39±20) and disability (14% decrease in ROM) as well as a small increase in arm volume (1.8%). Ginger ingestion had no effect on arm disability. 24- and 48-hours after exercise, ginger (0.6% and 0.6%) and placebo (0.4% and 0.3%) reduced arm volume to a similar extent (P>0.41). Ginger consumption did not reduce pain intensity scores compared to placebo at 24-hours (2.8±6.9 vs. 0.4±6.9; P=0.45) or 48-hours (-1.5±5.6 vs. 1.3±4.5; P=0.16) after exercise. Participants who consumed ginger 24-hours after exercise showed a delayed, moderate reduction in pain (-5.3±8.8; 13%; Cohen’s d effect size=-0.44) when ratings made 48-hours after exercise were compared to those made 24-hours post-exercise. No delayed effect was observed in participants who ingested placebo 24-hours post-exercise (0.0±14.7). Additionally, hypoalgesic responders to the ginger had lower pre-ingestion arm pain than ginger non-responders (32.2±16 vs 44.3±22; P=0.053). A single 2-gram dose of ginger does not attenuate eccentric exercise-induced muscle pain, inflammation or disability measured 45-minutes after ingestion. However, the day-to-day progression of muscle pain following eccentric exercise may be reduced by ginger consumption. Supported by the McCormick Science Institute.