Best advice for Athletes – how to treat your sport injuries and avoid the errors of common myths like RICE

All You Need to Know about Treating Sport Injury & DOMS….

For sport and in life pain is inevitable……using Rapid Recovery makes suffering optional

At some point every athlete will deal with pain – whether its the dull ache you feel the day after an intense training or whether it’s the searing pain of a sprain or strain from an injury.

How you treat your pain and injury could make all the difference to your longevity as an athlete and how long you will keep doing the sport you love.

The way we see it there are three types of pain:

  1. Good pain ….. DOMS pain or that sweet ache after a tough workout
  2. Bad pain ….Mild and moderate Grade 1 or 2Strain, Sprain, Bruising and common Sport injury
  3. Terrible pain of a serious injury* …. Fracture, break, wound or complete Grade 3 sprain, strain or tear Get urgent medical care

Rapid Recovery Sports Repair Cream helps reduce good pain & speeds your rapid recovery from bad pain.

Remember for Terrible pain * you need to get urgent medical care. Rapid Recovery can help you when you are rehabing from this type of injury and in pre-hab to support your warm up and recovery after you have returned to sport or work.

Good pain and what to do about it:

Good pain is that dull ache you feel the next day after an intense workout or a tough competition. Its when you’ve deliberately pushed yourself and your muscles feel the deep ache. You don’t feel it straight away – it starts the next day.

This “good pain” is also called DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Ultimately, you have broken down the muscle fibres to build them up as they repair. That is how your muscles get stronger and more durable. It’s the purpose of your training and how you become a better athlete. It’s beneficial for you – this is why we call it “good” pain.

What is happening is that your intense exercise has broken some of the muscle fibers inside your muscle bundles. As part of the inflammatory response the body brings fluid to the injured area – to flush out damaged cells and to bring in the repairing nutrients. The swelling and injury creates pain messages that feel like a strong but dull ache every time you sit down, stand up and walk up the stairs….so every move hurts quite alot and can take a few days to get over.

What can you do about it?

Improving warm up and stretching….

There are two types of stretching : Static and Dynamic……

Dynamic stretches are controlled movements that prepare your muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues for performance and safety. Static stretches are those in which you stand, sit or lie still and hold a single position for period of time, up to about 45 seconds.

An example of dynamic stretches is increasing functional movements from a a low intensity to a peak intensity level – for example a sprinter would start with 50 slow warm up moving upto 50m all out sprint just before her race starts so she knows her body is able to perform at the intensity required for a race sprint.

An example of static stretching is the long slow holds a runner might do before their training stretching out their hamstring or calve muscles.

Static stretching is outdated thinking.

Static stretches (long held stretches) do not warm up muscles – they stretch connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons but can actually weaken muscles by loosening the tiny sarcomere connections in the muscle fibers. This means your muscle contractions are weaker.

The only thing that warms up muscles is increasing blood flow to them -through massage and movement. You can do this by massaging Rapid Recovery Cream into the key muscles (Arnica increases blood flow) and by doing doing functional dynamic movements on the key muscle groups you use in your sport, with increasing intensity.

Using Rapid Recovery on the joints will also increase the pliability (stretch) of connective tissue so that the key joints are able to reach their full range of motion more quickly.

This is a win:win – your muscles are warmed up ready to fire with nutrient rich blood flow to support their function and the joint stiffness is reduced and you are able to move more freely with a full ROM. ( If you are a runner this will feel like you have got into your easy stride and race pace more quickly.)

And the flow of natural anti inflammatory ingredients, nutrients and anti-oxidants keep your muscle cells healthier so less micro tears or cellular damage is done during intense or endurance exercise.

Improving cool down and recovery….

Rapid Recovery is ideal to use after a tough training or sports event. It will reduce the inflammation deep inside the muscle bundles – where you have micro tears at the muscle fibre or connective tissue levels. It will circulate healing nutrients and trigger the production of osteoblasts and fibroblasts – the building blocks of connective tissue and muscle repair. And it will support the immune response speeding the healing process, provides oxygenated blood and increases removal of waste products.

Endurance athletes who use Rapid Recovery say their key muscles feel less hot and tired after tough events and they recover faster. Their DOMS pain is less or none the following day and their bodies feel ready to get back into training faster.

Our proof?

We have tested on tens of thousands of endurance athletes or competitive sports people -usually after a full marathon or an intense crossfit competition- and the athletes felt an almost immediate difference. The treated side feels less hot and tired and much less painful. We asked them to simply rub Rapid Recovery on one side (arm or leg) and after 5 or so minutes compare how it feels to the other side. Its the perfect test because both sides have done the same work. Even the biggest cynics can feel the difference. They can’t believe how quickly it works And they usually yell out to their mates to come and try it too.

We’ve also tested on elite athletes that really push their bodies – such as Triathlon World Cup holder and Ironman legend Sam Warriner.

What she said was

Rapid Recovery = Great Results

“In my triathlon training I cover hundreds of kilometres a week. At times I really push it to the limit. After all that exertion my body needs to recover.

Rapid Recovery Herbal Sports Rub is great for putting life back into my tired muscles and joints.  I use it as both a pre-training rub to stimulate blood flow and get me ready, and as a recovery aid once I’m finished.

3 things are important to me as an athlete; effective training, rapid recovery, and knowing that Rapid Recovery Rub is 100% natural.  It’s great for my performance and my health, and I recommend it to you too”.

Sam Warriner.
World #1 ITU World Cup Triathlon Holder 2008
, Silver medal winner 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Sam using Rapid Recovery Sports Repair Cream before she won the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman in 2009 in a course record time of 4:10:47.

Bad pain and what to do about it:

When we say “bad pain” we mean the pain from an accidental sporting injury or over use injury of your muscle, joint or connective tissue (ligament, tendon, fascia).

Accidental “acute” sporting injury is usually a muscle strain or tear, or a joint and ligament sprain such as from falling over, where you twist or damage a muscle or joint, or a bruising trauma like a tackle, collision, hard ball strike or a punch.

Overuse injuries build up over time – such as a chronic or over use injury – from training too hard, not warming up or cooling down properly -which causes your muscle or joint to fail. Often there are warning signs for this type of injury – the little niggle or twinge of pain that you just keep ignoring and then the full overuse injury flares up.

“Bad pain” can range from mild to moderate such as a grade 1 or 2 joint sprain or muscle tear…. Yes – it hurts -sometimes alot – and will take a while to repair.

But the good news is for many mild or moderate injuries you can care for the injury at home with some simple guidelines. You will be able to treat your injury faster, and save your self time and money.

The steps for mild and moderate musculoskeletal injury care are:

  • Reduce inflammation without stopping the immune system healing process – ie work on the problem and reduce the symptoms (pain, heat, swelling, bruising)
  • Treat the injured site (avoiding open wounds) and the whole kinetic chain (the muscles and joints above and below the injury which might also have damage/imbalance)
  • Keep moving -gently and carefully to avoid further injury
  • Slowly return to activity stretching first then strengthening
  • Do range of motion stretches within your limits
  • Support healing by avoiding any damaging movement – listen to your body messages and only move within the bounds of pain
  • Strengthen by gradually building up functional movements -supported weight first, then unsupported weight then single side
  • Practice pre-hab – preventative body maintenance, effective warm up and cool down to help keep you injury free

Using Rapid Recovery Sport Repair Cream helps with every stage of this process -especially if you combine it with stretching, strengthening and movement advice from a physical therapist or a trusted sports coach. Plus it is so simple to use you can treat your own minor injuries fast and safely without the time, cost & risk of pharma medicine.

Old harmful advice you must ignore……

Starting in the 1970’s standard sporting injury care was to take a pain pill and use the R.I.C.E. protocol – which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation. Using RICE protocol has been disproven and overturned -by the very man who created it Dr Gabe Mirkin. (Read “Why Ice Delays Recovery” here)

And for many years the advice from big pharma was if you feel pain, take a pill – now proven to be harmful for many reasons.

Here’s the new thinking:RICE is now outdated….

  • Dont Rest – keep moving. A small amount of rest is ok in the first few days until you get the pain and inflammation under control – but its better to keep moving with in the bounds of your pain thresh-holds. Doing gentle range of motion exercises is beneficial – like writing the alphabet, or foot pedal exercises for an ankle sprain is ideal. Work within your injury range. Follow physio guidelines.
  • Ice delays your healing and can cause further cellular injury: This is because using ice stops blood flow and removal of waste products – which delays your healing. Things which regulate healing nutrient rich flows into the injured cells and improve removal of injured cells and waste products is the best for healing. This supports your natural immune system response.

Use high quality Arnica – (choose Arnica montana flower tincture not cheap ineffective Arnica oil), in a cream that can absorb quickly to get to the injured cells. Arnica flower tincture is rich in a key phytochemical called Helenalin which is the best natural anti inflammatory to reduce swelling & bruising and to trigger the immune system healing response. Rapid Recovery Creams have the very highest levels of Arnica montana tincture, blended in a way which ensures they are delivered beneath the skin to the injured cells. Rapid Recovery works quickly to naturally reduce swelling, bruising and inflammation and helps you heal. (check the labels: if you see “Arnica oil” be aware this form of Arnica contains no helenalin phytochemical – only the oil loving esters -so doesn’t have the full anti-inflammatory benefits and will not work well. Also Arnica tincture needs to be at around 5% to be therapeutic.)

  • Avoid Tight Compression -tight strapping was originally though to stop swelling in the injured area but it has been disproven. It can cause more damage as it stops the flow of healing materials and traps the waste fluids in the site of the injury. Gentle & graduated compression can be helpful as it provides support to the injured area, but very tight compression is likely to be damaging. Better to use moderate strapping or braces that supports the area while it repairs, but doesn’t compress it so tight that nothing can move.
  • Elevation helps: propping your foot or arm onto a cushion to lift your injured area above your heart level does help you feel more comfortable in the first few hours or when sleeping but doesn’t really support healing .

Avoid further damage ….Remember pain and swelling is a message to you that you have to look after an injured area. If your body hurts pay attention and treat the injury so you can recover faster. Take care with anything that increases pain like getting back into training too hard or too fast or mashing your injured muscles and connective tissue with a roller….

Simple steps for Rapid Recovery…

Simply use Rapid Recovery Cream as soon as possible after you have suffered a sports injury like a strained muscle or a sprain, or after a tough sport event. Rub in a small amount (about 2 mls per body part) into the bruise/sprain/strain/muscle (avoiding grazes, wounds and open skin) and repeat 3 to 4 times in the first 2 hours – the more often the better to get the active ingredients into the injury. Then repeat every 4 hours. Let your pain be your guide. Treat any other areas of pain or tightness or trigger points in the muscles and joints above and below the injury ( we are a kinetic chain. Often you have smaller injuries or strains above and below the major injury).

Don’t pop a pill when you are injured…

NSAID drugs (pills & gels like ibuprofen (Nurofen) and diclofenac (Voltaren)) are proven to delay healing & increase health risks.

We’ve all been programmed over the last few decades to pop a pharmaceutical pill when we feel pain or get injured. This is bad outdated advice for a number of reasons.

Pharma meds take time to work. NSAID pills work on the whole body so they get filtered by every organ before they are delivered to the injured area…. this takes time and exposes more body systems to these drugs. A targeted pain relief cream like Rapid Recovery Cream absorbs quickly to work where it is needed around 4 x faster than an oral pill.

NSAID drugs delay your healing: NSAID’s work by down regulating the prostaglandin (PEG) hormones – which stops inflammation but also stops the healing immune system from working. This means your injury healing process is delayed.

NSAID drugs can increase risk of serious harm (such as heart attack or stroke & kidney disease), even leading to death, and even with infrequent or low level use. This is because NSAIDs work on prostoglandin hormones which controls a number of body systems -including inflammation – but also your cardiovascular system (how your heart functions), how your kidneys work and the acidity levels of your stomach. When the PEG hormone is down regulated (to reduce inflammation) the other areas are upregulated – which can lead to cardiovascular events, kidney and GI tract bleeding & damage. The FDA have a serious black box warning for all NSAID drugs (see here). The health risks increase with increased dosage.

Avoid Opioids for musculoskeletal injury – Opioids are strong, mind altering addictive narcotics for short term use following major trauma such as surgery. They have many risks including serious addiction, breathing difficulties, constipation, skin rash.

NSAID drugs include common drugs like Ibuprofen Keptoprofen & Paracetamol or brands like Nurofen & Voltaren pills and gels

Wondering what you should do for self care of moderate injuries?…..

Our advice would be to RACE back to health

Reduce movement of the injured area asap…treat your injury fast for optimal results

Apply Rapid Recovery (4x in the first 2 hours in acute injuries – and at least every 4 hours after that -avoid open wounds) to treat the injury and help you heal faster – giving you Arnica for inflammation , MSM for natural pain relief & Comfrey for faster healing, uses moderate compression or braces for support

Careful controlled movement – after swelling & bruising reduce start careful stretching movements within safe ranges; avoid reinjury – use pain messages as your guide

Education – get expert physio or sport coach advice to understand your injury timelines, for strengthening exercises to get you back stronger and movement/training advice to avoid future injuries.

Rapid Recovery offers you many benefits for muscle and joint use in one cream:

  • Fast acting long lasting relief from pain – starts to be felt in around 4 minutes lasts for up to 4 hours. Works 4 x faster than pills.
  • Natural anti-inflammatory – reduces swelling and redness
  • Extra strength Arnica bruise cream quickly reduces bruising and discolouration – 700x more Arnica montana than homeopathic gels
  • Uses the premium grade of Arnica montana tincture which contains Helenalin not the cheap and ineffective Arnica oil
  • Topical anti-oxidant supports cellular health during the critical injury recovery time
  • Targeted to the injury area – doesn’t affect any other body system or interact with other medications
  • Supports joint health & reduces joint stiffness for easier movement
  • Supports better sleeping -helps you get to sleep easier when you have a painful injury
  • Supports your rapid recovery and faster healing by improving cellular delivery of healing actives and removal of waste products
  • Natural muscle relaxant to reduce tight tense muscles and muscle knots – great for therapeutic and sports massages
  • Helps reduce overuse and RSI injuries -use before and after repetitive work to support musculoskeletal health and recovery
  • Great for other minor and annoying inflammations such as mosquito bites, chill blains, chapped skin or even swollen glands
  • Sports Cream / Muscle Rub to improve your warm up and cool down and your muscle health during exercise
  • Absorbs fast and deeply to work at the cellular level.
  • Great to use – gently cooling, non greasy, fresh light mint aroma.
  • Highest level of active ingredients in the New Zealand market
  • WADA safe for drug free sport – No narcotic or banned ingredients
  • No nasty ingredients 100% natural cream, free from parabens, phenoxyethanol, petrochemicals, Animal testing and GMO’s
  • No known health risks after field testing on ‘000’s and 15 years of use
  • Proudly developed and made in New Zealand

Remember if your pain level is “Terrible*” or if it is a serious Injury Grade – 3 muscle or ligament tears, broken bones get urgent medical help….

(*NB: This is a general guide only and not replacing medical advice or physical therapy advice. In this classification –Serious Pain is a severe grade 3 injury -ie: a complete rupture of the tendon or full tear of a muscle or any type of bone fracture or break, or where you are bleeding extensively. Our advice is to get urgent medical help as soon as possible. We are only talking about self-care of mild to moderate muscle and joint sporting injury here – not bleeding, broken bones, infection, internal injuries and all the other types of serious pain or other medical conditions. If you experience any other concerning symptoms – fever, intense pain, loss of feeling , bladder or bowel control, nerve injury, etc seek urgent medical advice)