Niggles and Sports Massage

I have seen the following question quite a lot with runners but also across all sports? When is something a niggle and when is it an injury? And if it’s not stopping me doing what I want should I get it treated?

In my view a niggle is something that doesn’t stop you running but feels uncomfortable or stiff during or after the run but one thing is key a niggle shouldn’t painful. If it is painful it is likely to be an injury an will stop or majorly impair your performance.

So, if the niggle isn’t stopping me running should I get it treated?

The answer is – It depends?

Was that answer useful? No! Not Really!

Let me explain! I would expect a niggle to disappear in a short amount of time however sometimes some niggles can last a while and if the niggle lasts more than 7 to 14 days then it is worth getting it looked at.

Why? The main reason is that a niggle if it lasts can be the start of an overuse injury and in time that type of injury will stop you running e.g. ITB issues. Also, if you have a niggle that lasts a while then you start to compensate and this may cause issues/injuries somewhere else e.g. the opposite side of the body or on the same side.

When you’re training having a regular sports massage can help with these niggles and help keep your muscles loose.

Strength running states that ” The major benefit of massage is that it relaxes tense muscles and removes adhesions or minor scar tissue between muscles and fascia, a fancy word for the sheath or casing that surrounds your muscles. Unneeded tension and adhesions can restrict movement and impair your range of motion, potentially leading to abnormal movement patterns that can cause overuse injuries. “

However I do want to burst a popular myth. Lactic acid which quite often is what people say is causing there soreness can’t cause muscle soreness and anyway massage can not remove waste products and get rid of lactic acid.

One thing that professional athletes also use massage for is relaxation. When training, and this is appropriate for recreational runners especially when raising money for charity, relaxation and destressing is very important for general wellbeing.

So, if you come to WBIC for a treatment for these pesky niggles what can you expect?

If we haven’t seen you before then we will go through previous medical and injury history, assess and then treat as needed. For subsequent appointments it will be dependent on any niggle you maybe experiencing however, it is mostly down to you and what you’re feeling when you’re running.

If you would like a sports massage or have any questions then give the clinic a call on 01635 904542 or email: info@westberkshireinjuryclinic.co.uk.

One Comment

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