Shin 3

Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape has a comprehensive array of therapeutic benefits. Because kinesiology taping can usually be left on for several days or up to a week, these therapeutic benefits are available to the injured area 24 hours a day, significantly accelerating the healing process from trauma, injuries and inflammatory conditions.

Benefits of Kinesiology Taping

Pain Relief via Structural Support for Weak or Injured Body Parts

Kinesiology tape is a flexible elastic tape that moves with your body. The supple elasticity provides supports to your body parts without the tape slipping.

By supporting your body part, kinesiology tape can provide you with pain relief and muscular support to help control body parts affected by muscle inhibition.

Muscle Support

Kinesiology tape potentially assists your muscle strength via physical assistance. It also provides tactile feedback through the skin, e.g. proprioception boost. This phenomenon may help both the non-disabled athlete to enhance their performance and hypotonic, e.g. children with low muscle tone.

Swelling Reduction

Kinesiology provides a passive lift to your skin via its elastic properties. This vacuum effect allows your lymphatic and venous drainage systems to drain and swollen or bruised tissue quicker than without the kinesiology tape.

It is also thought that this same principle can assist the removal of exercise byproducts like lactic acid that may contribute to post-exercise soreness, e.g. delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

More info: Strapping & Supportive Taping

Article by John Miller

Post Running Muscle Soreness

Is it an Injury or just DOMS?

Have you ever finished a big run and felt sore right after it? What about two days afterwards? Do you ignore it, or have it checked out?

The most common causes of post-run pain are either a legitimate muscle injury or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Tips to Determine if it is a Muscle Injury or is it DOMS?

Differentiating between a muscular injury and DOMs is essential to ensure you are not overlooking a potentially sport-limiting injury and getting the damage managed appropriately. Early identification is vital!

What is DOMS?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMs for short, is an exercise-related muscle condition that arises after intense, unaccustomed, physical exercise. The condition gets its ‘delayed’ name as symptoms are not usually felt until 24 to 72 hours after the workout, typically peaking at the 48-hour mark after exercise.

Research has demonstrated that DOMS is associated with tearing myofibrils, often at multitudinous junctions - best described as microtrauma. This process is followed by inflammation and a shift in intramuscular fluid and electrolytes. This process, combined with other local factors at the cellular and increased intramuscular pressure promote, causes the soreness and stiffness experienced in DOMS.

The swelling, inflammation, tenderness and pain that arises can manifest as decreased joint range of motion, reduced strength and a reduced ability to absorb shock while exercising. Tenderness is typically felt at the end of the muscle (at the tendon), where it attaches down along the affected limb and then as the condition progress. You can feel this throughout the muscle belly itself.

This alteration in muscle function can last up to 10 days!

Muscle Injuries

Acute muscle injuries are quite different in how they present compared to DOMS. Typically, pain and stiffness is felt immediately in the affected tissue or shortly after. A ‘pop’, twinge, feeling of being kicked - without anyone kicking you - or an immediate collapse to the ground. As expected, the amount of damage to the tissue with a muscle injury exceeds that of DOMS. Any general movement of the muscle will reproduce your symptoms, and if the injury is severe enough - bruising can begin to develop with some associated swelling.

At the time of injury, following the RICE protocol (Relative Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is your best go-to treatment.

It would help if you also avoided HARM factors. No heat should be applied to the affected area. It would be best if you also avoid alcohol consumption, running or other painful movements.  Initially, it is a good idea to avoid massage until a professional has assessed the injury. All the HARM factors have the potential to increase bleeding, which may exacerbate your damage.

Research suggests no anti-inflammatory drugs following a muscle strain is the best way to go. If you seek pain relief, you should consult your regular GP or a pharmacist for pain relief options that don't slow down your healing rates.

More info: How to Treat an Acute Soft Tissue Injury

Benefits of DOMS?

Thankfully yes! The body adapts to the physical exercise that you undertook once the DOMS resolves. So when you go and perform the same routine again, the chance of DOMS onset decreases! However, adaptation to the causative training occurs rapidly after DOMS resolves. This adaptation with repeated activity is called the “repeated-bout effect.”

More info: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

How to Tell the Difference?

Your physiotherapist will be your best option for an efficient and accurate diagnosis between the two conditions. However, some simple factors help piece together your injury when deciding whether or not to consult help.

DOMS is more unpleasant when commencing a movement but eases as the muscle is warmed up, whereas a muscle injury will reproduce pain with any movement of the injured muscle.

The most definitive factor is taking a detailed history of the injury. If you experienced pain during or immediately after, you are most likely looking at a muscle injury. If the pain is worst the day after and gets worse over the following days, you are most likely dealing with DOMS.

What to Do if You Have DOMS or a Muscle Injury?

If you suspect you have a muscle injury, it is best to consult your physiotherapist earlier rather than later. A thorough assessment is required to ascertain what you have injured and start rehabilitation immediately to help minimise your time out of the sport!

If you suspect you have DOMS, you need to avoid therapeutic interventions that increase muscle pain (e.g. excessive stretching, deep tissue massage), and you should postpone the vigorous physical activity until resolution of pain and restoration of function due to:

  • Decreased shock absorption
  • Decreased coordination of muscle sequencing motion
  • Compensatory recruitment of uninjured muscle groups
  • Increased relative work intensity of the affected muscles at the same workload
  • Altered strength balance of agonist and antagonist groups
  • Inaccurate perception of functional deficits

Evidence suggests that compression garments, remedial massage and heat packs to increase blood flow will decrease your pain.

If you’re unsure if it is a muscle injury or DOMS - we’re only a call away, and our physiotherapists will happily answer your questions and establish the best plan of attack for you!

At PhysioWorks, we are highly experienced physiotherapists in accurately diagnosing and establishing an individualised rehabilitation program. We will look at what caused it, how bad the injury is, treat the root cause and implement a plan to prevent it from coming back!

If you doubt or require more information, please don’t hesitate to contact your nearest PhysioWorks clinic.

More info: Running Injuries

6 Post-Run Recovery Tips

Are you planning on running a marathon, half marathon, participating in a charity run or just running for fun? How about dreading the post-exercise soreness and fatigue? When you push your body to perform an intense exercise or exercise it may be unaccustomed to, it is beneficial to know what to do to assist recovery after the event.

Here are six tips to assist you in recovering after a running event.

1. Post-Run Nutrition

After exercise, it is paramount you replenish the energy stores (glycogen/carbohydrates, electrolytes and protein) and fluid stores you lost during activity. This nutrition will help the body recover from intense exercise and assist your immune system damaged by the practice.

Carbohydrates

When glycogen synthesis is highest within the first-hour post-exercise, consume a carbohydrate-rich snack/meal that provides 1-1.2g of carbohydrate per 1kg of body weight.

Protein

Intense exercise causes a breakdown in muscle tissue. Protein helps restore tissue and assist muscle adaptation. Essential amino acids from high-quality protein-rich foods in the hour post-exercise promote protein rebuilding. Commonly 10-20g of protein in the first hour post-exercise is recommended.

Rehydration

It is essential to replace the fluid lost during exercise. Electrolytes, particularly sodium, lost through sweat are required. Sodium helps to increase your fluid balance post-exercise by reducing urine loss. To check, please weigh yourself before and after your race. A guideline to fluid replacement is 1L for every 1kg lost during the event.

More info: Sports Dietitian

2. Cool Down Exercise

Low-intensity exercise can help remove lactic acid build-up and promote blood flow to relieve tight and sore muscles. This exercise can be performed as a light jog or walk after your event or the day following. This cool down exercise can be followed by a brief 5 to 15-min period of stretching to assist with tight muscles.

More info:

3. Soft Tissue Recovery

Ways to assist soft tissue recovery at home include foam rolling and wearing compression garments. Foam rolling on your back, ITB, hamstrings, quads and calves dramatically helps your soft tissue recovery. Spend 2x 1-minute intervals in each area. You may wear compression garments for 24-hrs post-exercise. Both techniques can assist in reducing post-exercise muscle soreness and may enhance recovery of muscle performance.

More info: Foam Rollers

4. Recovery Massage

A post-run recovery massage can reduce excessive post-exercise muscle tone and increase muscle range of motion. Massage also improves circulation and nutrition to damaged tissue, deactivate symptomatic trigger point, reduced post-exercise soreness and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Soft tissue therapy has also been said to aid in psychological recovery alongside music, warm baths and showers to enhance muscle relaxation and allow healing.

More info: Recovery Massage

5. Ice

There is often debate whether ice baths (cold water immersion) is beneficial after exercise. In regards to running, ice helps to decrease inflammation resulting from intense activity. Ice can help to reduce post-activity muscle soreness.

The day after intense activity, you can use heat to help relax tight muscles. Heat also promotes blood flow to an area, promoting the recovery of lactic acid build-up.

More info: Ice therapy

6. Sleep

A good night’s sleep consisting of around 8 hours is essential for muscle recovery, among other biological functions. As mentioned above, compression garments can be worn to bed to further assist with healing. You can achieve a good night’s sleep by ensuring the room is cool, dark, quiet, and free of electronic distractions. Ideally, one should have a well-developed sleep routine that consists of the strategies mentioned earlier and avoids caffeine and excessive fluid intake before bed.

More info: Running Injuries

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is an effective and efficient technique for the treatment of muscular pain and myofascial dysfunction. Dry needling or intramuscular stimulation (IMS) is a technique that Dr Chan Gunn developed. Dry needling is a beneficial method to relax overactive muscles.

In simple terms, the treatment involves the needling of a muscle's trigger points without injecting any substance. Western anatomical and neurophysiological principles are the basis of dry needling. It should not be confused with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) technique of acupuncture. However, since both dry needling and acupuncture utilise the same filament needles, the confusion is understandable.

In his IMS approach, Dr Chan Gunn and Dr Fischer, in his segmental approach to Dry Needling, strongly advocate the importance of clearing trigger points in both peripheral and spinal areas.

Dry needling trained health practitioners use dry needling daily for the treatment of muscular pain and dysfunction.

dry needling

What Conditions Could Acupuncture or Dry Needling Help?

Acupuncture or dry needling may be considered by your healthcare professional after their thorough assessment in the following conditions:

Private Health Fund Rebates

Most private health funds offer rebates on acupuncture or dry needling treatments as a component of your physiotherapy or acupuncture consultation.

More Info