Bromelain is effective in reducing pain. Besides treating arthritis, pineapple extract helps treat muscle soreness after exercise, mild pain, and pain after surgery.

In a study (DB-RCT) of 20 healthy male participants, protease supplementation (containing bromelain and other enzymes) helped relieve muscle soreness after downhill running [R].

Moreover, in comparison to the placebo group, the protease group demonstrated better muscle recovery. Protease supplementation helped the participants’ muscles heal faster. This allowed for quicker restoration of function after intense exercise. These effects are likely due to the anti-inflammatory activity of bromelain and other protease enzymes [R].

In another study, one month of bromelain administration helped decrease pain and stiffness in 77 participants with mild knee pain. Both 200 mg and 400 mg doses of bromelain were efficient at improving physical function in the otherwise healthy subjects [R].

Bromelain also helps reduce pain and swelling after dental surgery. In a randomized study (RT), bromelain was effective in reducing pain and swelling in 28 out of 40 oral surgery patients. Since there was no placebo group to compare to, the results of this study may not be conclusive [R].