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“RunThrough”: Niggle vs Injury


Runthrough 5K and 10KWell done from the Central Health Physiotherapists and Massage Specialists to all you runners that participated in the brilliant RunThrough 5k and 10k events in Regent’ s Park on Saturday. We hope that the 80 or so runners that we managed to get our hands on (and those that we were sorry not to have seen), were feeling in top form the next morning.

Yet some of you might have picked up what you feel is a ‘niggle’ or a mild ‘soreness’ that you are not sure about. So we thought we would add a few words of advice about when you should and shouldn’t be suspicious about a niggle?

With a niggle you will most likely have, or presently be experiencing a low level of soreness or tightness in an area. This is something that there is not an obvious cause to, usually without a sudden onset, and one that might come and go at various times of the day and with varied activities. In terms of how painful this should be, is should be less than a score of 1-2 (on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst pain you can think of). A good example of a niggle would be a sensitive (possibly tender to the touch) or slightly swollen area of the body that may also be stiff after not moving it for a while, and it is likely to improve with movement and activity but certainly not worsen significantly.

If there is an injury, you will most likely have or have had a more obvious event or onset while performing a task and will most likely experience a level of discomfort that prevents you from starting or continuing that activity. A score of 3-5/10 on the same 1-10 scale, that gets worse or stays the same with movement, should be avoided or stopped. If there is no improvement with rest over the next 1-2 days, then potentially you should seek out either GP, Physiotherapist or other qualified health practitioner advice and appropriate assessment. Continuing to ‘stress or strain’ an area despite this level of pain or an area with more pronounced swelling, or repeatedly working a more annoying ‘niggle’ that has been there a while, may well result in further aggravation and/or injury.

Central Health Physiotherapy has a dedicated team of physiotherapists at all three of our London clinics ready to discuss any concerns that you may have. Please contact us by phone or e-mail through the details on our website at and we will help you get ready for your next 5k or 10k runs. Good luck with your training for the next RunThrough event!


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