What is compounding? Pharmacy compounding is the art of science of preparing custom medications for individual patients. In recent years, compounding has experienced a resurgence, as many physicians arc working with pharmacists to provide their patients with the benefit of the medications tailored specifically for certain needs.

Sports activities and fitness programs focus upon an athlete's strengths and are customized to meet his or her individual needs. So why not do the same with medication needs? Compounding allows pharmacists — working closely with both the athlete patient and a physician or trainer — to prepare dosage strengths, potency and delivery systems for the utmost in therapy.

Just Like a 275-lb. offensive lineman and a 170-lb. shortstop require individual training programs, they also require different amounts of medication to speed recovery or treat muscle pain. Yet commercially avail-able products come in limited dosage Compounding offers a way to "finesse" the exact amount of medication to a certain need and body type resulting in more accurate dosing.

Another important benefit is the compounding pharmacist's ability to alter the delivery system of medications. Capsules and tablets taken orally must pass through a patient's digestive tract before making their way into the system. 1'or anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants and other medications, this can result in lessened potency and some gastrointestinal side effects. A compounding pharmacist can prepare custom, topical creams, transdermal gels or solutions that are not otherwise available. By treating the pain at its trigger point, relief and recovery can be strengthened. Athletes of every type can benefit from compounding. Swimmers can receive treatment for swimmer's ear and fungal problems. Bowlers need relief from stresses on the wrist, finger joints and lower arm. Joggers and walkers deal with swelling and muscle pain. Almost any repetitive sport - including golf, tennis and Softball - can lead to chronic injuries resulting from overuse.

Members of major league pitching staffs recover from inflammation to the throwing shoulder more quickly due to topical agents prepared by compounding pharmacists working in conjunction with team trainers.

The secret they use to get back in the game is pharmaceutical compounding, and it's available for everyone—not just the pros. Whether you're a professional who gets paid to play through pain, a high school player recovering from a team sports injury, or a weekend warrior trying to ease muscle pain during the work week, compounding can provide huge benefits for every kind of athlete.