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.
Scientists are actively searching for safer NSAIDs that are effective anti-inflammatory agents but are not ulcer producing. In the meantime, patients who need long term NSAID treatment should be closely supervised by a doctor. Patients at risk of NSAID-induced ulcers and complications should consider preventive measures, such as using NSAIDs with less prostaglandin disrupting effects on the stomach and using proton pump inhibitors, H2-blockers, or misoprostol. Stopping smoking , and eradicating H. pylori also may be helpful since both smoking and infection with H. pylori themselves cause ulcers.