May 3, 2022

How to stop a niggle from turning into an injury

Don't ignore that dull ache or little niggle, instead find out how to deal with it BEFORE it becomes a bigger issue.

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For many of us, we live with a variety of little niggles that we’ve picked up as we’ve aged. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life. 

Too often we see old injuries or little moments of discomfort blossom into full-blown injuries that lead to costly time off exercise whilst you have to rehab. 

However, we’re going to help you identify what’s of concern and give you tools to help stop that niggle from turning into a more major injury. 

What is a niggle?

Maybe it’s been a slightly uncomfortable sensation of pain in your knee whilst riding, or maybe it’s an old injury that’s never gone away, getting grumpy when you increase your running. It can also be a stiff lower back that takes a few minutes to warm up in the morning or on a ride. 

Whatever it is we’ve all had little niggles from time to time that can turn into injuries if we aren’t careful. 

These little moments of discomfort or pain you might have in either day-to-day life or pops up when you start to exercise. 

Rule of thumb

It is not always easy to determine if a niggle is short lived or if it will turn into an injury. It is essential that you listen to your body when you first experience discomfort. We recommend the following rule of thumb when it comes to determining if you should keep on riding or seek help: 

If you are experiencing discomfort before you start exercising, and the discomfort gets worse during, straight after and/or the day after exercise. You should seek help from your healthcare provider. If your discomfort does not get worse during, straight after or the day after exercise, you can monitor the niggle yourself, and apply the same rule of thumb each time you exercise. 

Build-in regular tune-ups

For those of us who drive a car, you need to get a regular service from a mechanic to swap out oil, check everything is mechanically sound and get you back out on the road. As the adage goes “Regular maintenance, extends life”. 

The same can be said for your body. Whether you’re training for a half marathon, or just commuting into the office each day, a regular appointment with a healthcare professional such as a chiropractor will help your overall health and keep you on track. 

They can also help minimise the impact of injuries on your training and offer tailored advice to help you stay healthy!

Book a bike fit

In cycling, most of the injuries we see at our Forward Chiropractic clinic are the result of a poor bike fit. Getting your bike set up correctly will make a huge difference not only to your comfort but also to your overall performance on the bike. 

Our clinic in Kensington offers chiropractic services, bike fits and cycling coaching to all people.  

Modify your training 

If you’ve got a persistent injury from doing one type of exercise, for example, cycling, switch it up. 

Cycling is great because it’s low impact, however, it’s a very static, one-dimensional exercise. Reduce your distance on the bike for a few weeks and add in another activity such as swimming, strength training, or even yoga/pilates to help with that core strength. 

Don’t stop training

Too often we see people stop all their training when a niggle comes along - this doesn’t need to be the case.

Sometimes some simple modifications such as intensity, duration, or even your style of exercise can help you overcome this little annoyance. 

As always, if you have any questions about this article, or any other areas of your health, have a chat with us during your next consultation with Forward Chiropractic.