If you live an active lifestyle, it’s normal to have a few aches and pains or even muscle soreness, but if you overtrain this could lead to one of the following three signs that it’s time to book an appointment with your physio.
Whilst high impact sports like running and jumping put quite a lot of strain on your joints, lower impact activities like swimming and cycling can also cause tightness and niggles, so it’s important to keep an eye on how your body is feeling. You need to decide if avoiding pain will be sufficient enough to fix the issues or if you should take it that next step further and seek professional advice from a physio, in case what you are dealing with is actually an injury.
If, after a few days of relative rest (i.e. avoiding painful movements but still remaining active) you are still in pain and having difficulty getting around then yes, it’s time to see a physio – if you keep on training incorrectly with an injury you will only make it worse so bite the bullet and book the appointment if you notice any of these following signs…
1. Bruising, swelling, heat and/or discolouration
If you experience any of the above then take this as a warning sign that something is not right! You can implement R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and then seek further advice.
2. Persistent pain or trouble when exercising
Are your knees sore when you run? Do your ankles ache? How about that tight calf muscle… is it just tightness or the beginning of a muscle tear? Listen to your body! If it doesn’t feel like a normal exercise muscle burn then it’s probably not.
3. Avoiding the pain or resting isn’t making it better
It can be hard to take complete rest when you have the exercise bug, but in order for your body to heal, you need at least one day of relative rest per week. Relative rest means you can still remain active, but keeping it light through low impact activities like yoga, a walk or swimming - be sure to avoid any painful movements! If you have had a few days of relative rest and have been avoiding any painful movements, but are still experiencing pain when returning to exercise, then this could be a sign that you need to see a physio, so you can get proper advice on how to manage your injury and recover faster.
In summary, if you’re an active person and are experiencing some aches and pains or even muscle soreness, it’s still OK to be active as long as you avoid any painful movements (ideally light and low impact activities). If after a few days you haven’t gotten any better, then it’s time seek further advice on injury management from your physio, so you can get back to 100%.