If you’re stepping up your exercise regime, or you’ve started something new, you might be feeling a bit sore. But is it a strain? Or are you just feeling the effects of your workout?
It can be tricky to know which is which, as sometimes the smallest twinge can end up as a major injury in disguise. Here’s our go-to guide so you can spot the difference and get back to your routine ASAP.
You don't need to be a specialist to work out that if you come off your bike, use your arm to break your fall and hear a snap… it’s straight hospital for you. But if you rolled your ankle or your shins hurt after your daily (or let's be honest, weekly) run, let's talk. Chances are, you're dealing with a minor acute injury or an overuse injury. Research shows that 70% of runners deal with an overuse injury every year [source].
How To Get Better
In the first 48 hours - RICE. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. Ice your suspected injury a few times a day, 20 minutes at a time to reduce the swelling. Compress your sore spot in an elastic compression bandage and elevate. This should reduce the swelling and reduce your pain [source]. You can also try an over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory to relieve inflammation and pain, like Nurofen Zavance. If pain persists, see your doctor.
It’s the day after. You’re struggling to get out of bed, shuffling instead of walking and the sight of stairs makes you wince. You felt invincible doing your workout yesterday but today is a different story. You’re probably experiencing what fitness pros call delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMs for short). This can happen at any time, often when you increase the frequency, duration and intensity of your workout [source].
How To Get Better
The obvious signs that you've got DOMs are extreme or atypical soreness, joint stiffness and tenderness. The pain normally hits with a bit of a delay after working out, lasting as long as three days [source]. Help yourself out by having a few rest days, staying hydrated or trying Nurofen Zavance. Just like all aches aren’t the same, not all Nurofen is the same either. Nurofen Zavance tablets and caplets are absorbed up to two times faster than standard Nurofen*. If the pain hangs around for more than five days get some medical help, as it could be a muscle or tendon tear.
*Dewland P et al BMC Clinical Pharmacology 2009, 9:19.
Always read the label. Use only as directed, incorrect use could be harmful. Consult your healthcare professional if symptoms persist. Nurofen Zavance active ingredients: Sodium ibuprofen dihydrate 256mg (equiv. ibuprofen 200mg)