It is certainly not uncommon for athletes to pop a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) after a hard workout, such as ibuprofen or aspirin. However, recent research tells us that this may be hindering the healing process in the muscle; therefore, degating your hard workout.
Basically, when you perform the eccentric phase (lengthening of a muscle) of any weight lifting activity, you are inducing damage to your muscles. When the muscle fibers heal, they essentially become stronger. So, it is in the healing process that actually makes your muscles stronger. NSAIDs suppress prostaglandin synthesis, which is necessary for protein synthesis. Without protein synthesis, your muscles cannot become stronger.
In summary, think twice before popping a pill to mask some muscle soreness. Instead, take it easy, give your muscles time to heal, and consider the soreness a workout well done!
There are some cases in which you may need an NSAID; and this should be discussed with your doctor.
Just a few research articles...
Effect of ibuprofen and acetaminophen on postexercise muscle protein synthesis.
Skeletal muscle PGF(2)(alpha) and PGE(2) in response to eccentric resistance exercise: influence of ibuprofen acetaminophen.
I strength train to keep my bones from becoming brittle and prevent osteoporosis.