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)

R.I.C.E. is NOT nice….. Ice treatment protocol for Sports Injury discredited by leading Sports Doctor.

R.I.C.E. theory has been overturned – Ice and Compression shown to cause delay in sport injury healing times

Gabe Mirkin, the US sports physician who coined the term “RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation” has recently done a complete about-turn on the commonly used R.I.C.E. theory.  After reviewing 22 scientific studies, including an influential study by the American Journal of Sports Medicine (June 2013) Gabe concurs that using 3 of the 4 elements of RICE – (Ice, Compression and complete Rest) may delay healing instead of improving outcomes.  Gabe’s full article is here.

The review of medical studies show that

  • Ice stalls the healing process by reducing blood flow & stopping the release of hormones required for healing from entering the cells.
  • Ice interferes with an athlete’s strength, speed, endurance and coordination. While cooling can temporarily block pain messages, over 35 medical studies showed that cooling an area for more than 20 minutes decreased athletes’ strength, speed, power and agility.  Warming of the area (and increasing blood flow) lead to an improvement in all these areas.
  • Other pharmaceutical drugs or strapping/compression delay healing as they also supress immune response & blood flow– including Cortisone drugs & Non-Steroidal Drugs (NSAID’s) such as Ibuprofen and Diclofenac. (Commonly called Nurofen & Voltaren). NSAID drugs also have other significant detrimental health affects including recent (2015) serious health warnings from the FDA about NSAID use causing heart attacks and strokes leading to death.

For over 30 years this was the gold standard of athletic injury treatment. Now athletes and coaches need to rethink how to reduce and treat sports injury.

So what are the options?  We believe the best answers come from nature, to nurse your self better.

Nature’s Nurse founder Kim Davies-Haycock has  spent years studying the best combination of natural active ingredients to give relief and repair.

The company proudly sells Rapid Recovery Herbal Sports Rub – a fast acting, 100% natural anti-inflammatory, pain relief and healing rub.

Rapid Recovery Rub is a highly effective rub with a trio of active ingredients: Arnica in tincture form combined with additional pain relieving of natural mineral MSM and repairing Comfrey leaf. It is designed to treat pain, inflammation and injury as well as being effective for use in warm up and recovery.

Heres how it works:

Arnica – the well regarded anti-inflammatory herb – provides a natural alternative to reducing swelling & bruising, as well as increasing the body’s healing immune responses.  Arnica, especially in the herbal tincture form, applied directly on to the skin, has been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulation (reducing bruising) and analgesic effects in a dose-dependent manner.  (Read Ingredient Research by Sigma-Aldrich documenting Arnica plant chemicals & their benefits).

In case you think pharmaceutical chemicals are better than natural plant chemicals, heres some info to make you think again.  Many of the pharmaceutical NSAID drugs (Voltaren/ibuprofen, etc) have been shown to slow rate of healing as well as having many other harmful effects (increased risk of heart attack, kidney & liver damage, etc).  Natural options such as herbal extracts are the best options because rather than working against the body’s healing processes they support them to work more effectively.  For example Arnica works in these main ways:

  • By stopping the inflammatory cascade (mainly by inhibiting NF-Kappa B pathway),
  • Blocking histamine response that causes capillaries and veins to rupture,
  • Increasing blood flow of healing nutrients and hormones to the area,
  • Speeding and supporting repair of broken blood vessels.
  • Reduces swelling by increasing the movement of lymphatic fluid
  • Has analgesic (pain relieving) properties.

All these actions explain why Arnica works so quickly to reduce swelling and bruising.  As well as its natural anti-inflammatory benefits, Arnica is a known immune-stimulant improving the speed of healing.

The main plant chemical in Arnica montana is the unique plant chemical Helenalin. This strong natural anti-inflammatory is best extracted in a hydro-alcoholic tincture from the Arnica flowers.  Homeopathic forms are very unlikely to work at a chemical level, and Arnica Oil extractions have about half the level of the beneficial Helenalin chemical. Arnica is very safe to use topically but not recommended to be used orally or on open wounds – so it is ideal for using in a topical rub form.

MSM is natural water soluble mineral (found in leafy green plants and also in human cells). MSM is very high in bio-available sulphur, which is used as a natural pain blocker by the human body.  MSM has the added benefits of helping drag the active herbal tinctures into the skin to target areas of pain and inflammation fast, and of supporting joint health.

Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale) – long used as poultice treatment for swelling and bruises, it also has significant benefits for ligament and tendon repair and for reducing scar tissue from injury.

Colloidal mineral -providing the body the mineral building blocks required for repair, right when they are needed.

Peppermint Essential oil- cooling and energising natural extract with a clean fresh aroma.

Rapid Recovery Herbal Sport Rub is

  • a multifunctional rub as well as reducing pain and swelling it is also great for use before sports and training to minimise damage by warming up muscles and joints.
  • Fast Relief  – felt in around 5 minutes,
  • Targeted -You simply rub this onto your aching muscle or joint right where it is needed. No delay via absorption through the digestive tract.
  • Great to use -fast absorbing, non greasy, pleasant smelling and hypoallergenic cream – no more locker room odour, stained clothes or burning skin
  • Safe – There are no health concerns or side effects (except very low level possibility of low level rash).  If you are a pro-athlete you can rest easy – there are no chemical, pharmaceutical or questionable ingredients. Written assessment from Drug Free Sports NZ confirmed Rapid Recovery Rub products as safe to use by sports people and ranked at the lowest level of concern.
  • 100% natural formulation –  ingredients sustainably sourced & manufactured in highest quality TGA & GMP approved facilities.

Rapid Recovery Herbal Sports Rub from Nature’s Nurse has been developed with the perfect combination of ingredients:

  • Arnica montana tincture at high therapeutic dosages (over 10x more Arnica than rubs such as Anti-flamme) to reduce swelling & bruising and to speed immune repair
  • MSM mineral (Methylsufonyl Methane) – a plant derived mineral with a high level of sulfur which gives rapid natural pain relief – starting in 4 minutes and lasting upto 4 hours
  • Comfrey leaf – anti-inflammatory & clinically proven to support repair of tendons and ligaments
  • Colloidal minerals – providing the building blocks for muscle and tissue repair
  • Cooling Peppermint Essential oil to help soothe and cool

Heres why Rapid Recovery Rub is ideal for Sport (and everyday) injury:

  • will rapidly reduce swelling and bruising from injury
  • significantly reduces pain (safely and naturally)
  • quickly puts you back on the road to recovery
  • lets you treat your own injury and strains whenever you need it – reducing the time consuming and expensive appointments
  • great to use after sports in the warm down phase
  • improves your warmup.  By increasing blood flow to muscles and pliability of ligaments you will get full muscular strength and joint range of motion more quickly
  • reduces post exercise pain & DOMS  by speeding healing of micro tears within muscles and ligaments and swelling inside muscle fibre bundles

Tested and Approved by the Toughest Athletes.

We have tested Rapid Recovery Rub for many years on the toughest of endurance athletes – thousands of marathoners, cross fitters and triathletes.

Our simple test is this – rub on one aching leg after the event (such as a 42 km run), and not the other. Wait 5 minutes and then compare how each leg feels.  Even the most skeptical hard bitten marathoner/eventer/cross fitter is quickly convinced.

And that’s not all. Consistent feedback from these athletes shows they don’t succumb to training or overuse injuries before their big event, they have a much better run and often improve their race times and they don’t get the DOMS effect the following day.

Here’s just a few of the testimonials from pro-athletes who really know how to push their bodies, and the expert therapists, who treat them afterwards.

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.

 

I love the RAPID RECOVERY HERBAL SPORTS RUB, especially after my longs run, when my muscles are aching. I put a good solid layer on my hands and massage slowly into my legs and wow what a difference. The ache in my muscles completely disappears.  The cream smells and feels great.  Try it and I am sure you will like it.”

Joanna Lawn
NZ Ironman Legend.
Winner 2002- 2008, 2010

 

 I treat many of New Zealand’s top athletes, including triathletes & elite Rugby Players at the NZ Rugby Academy, as well as everyday clients suffering from chronic and work place injury.  I use Rapid Recovery every day in my massage therapy clinic.  My athletes and other clients find it stops pain in muscles and joints quicker than taking pain killers.  They find it very helpful for warming up muscles and joints prior to exercise or work, especially in colder weather. It works very well to help my clients stay injury free.   It is very beneficial for repetitive strain and work place injuries. 

Carolyn Margan,  Persona Performance, Tauranga, New Zealand

Rapid Recovery Sports Rub is available on line here or through stockists through New Zealand