Defeat the pain: 3 stages of the fight with a troubling injury

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Only a few runners invest their time and money in prevention. Most of them begin to act only when something starts to get worse, crack, ache or trouble. On the other hand, more and more researches point at the fact that there is little that needs to be done to reduce the risk of injury and to avoid pain.

The connection of medicine, technology and human inclination towards laziness facilitated the creation of some useful, simple and easy tools that help runners to defeat the pain and small injuries, and prevent the development of the injury at home.

Treating without prescription

Go to a pharmacy only when homegrown methods do not bring you relief or when your doctor appointment is too far away, and you want to survive this period without pain. Remember to stop using ointments and medications at least a day before the appointment, because their activity may mask the symptoms that could help the doctor or the physiotherapist recognize the injury.

When it becomes impossible to pretend during trainings that nothing hurts, runners eagerly request a pharmacist’s advice. In a pharmacy, numerous medications created to eliminate swellings, pain and inflammations can be found.

“A muscle pain resulting from trainings can be experimentally treated with an ointment after 3-5 days of rest, stretching, rolling, etc. – says Doctor of Pharmacy Jakub Czaja, the ALE expert. – There are analgesic warming or cooling ointments or gels available in pharmacies; however, the permeability of the latter through skin is low. In inflammations, for example the inflammations of Achilles’ tendon, anti-inflammatory pills working from the inside are better. Effective agents are those which contain one of the following active substances: naproxen, diclofenac or ibuprofen” – advises the pharmacist.

The idea of applying all pharmacy-sourced medications according to the leaflet information or to instructions from a pharmacist is not only an empty advertising slogan. Only adequate dosing ensures medication effectiveness. “If symptoms don’t regress after 3-5 days of applying, there’s no sense in waiting, you have to go to the doctor’s” – Dr Czaja advises.

  • Against bruises and swellings: For minor injuries and twisted joints, in pharmacies look for medications of anti-swelling, astringent, and soothing effect. There are preparations meant for external use, or in other words, ointments or gels, which are supposed to be rubbed into the skin around a joint (e.g. Altaziaja, about 6 PLN,, and pills meant for dissolving and preparing compresses (e.g. Altacet, about 8 PLN, Preparations containing heparin have anti-thrombosis, anti-swelling and anti-inflammatory activity (e.g. Lioton 1000, about 19 PLN,
  • Analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents: When the first aid managed to reduce the swelling, but it didn’t bring joint or muscle pain relief, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications can be applied. Pharmacies offer a whole lot of pills and ointments that bring relief to a suffering man. In the case of ointments and gels, it is advisable to make so-called rub-ons and rub them into the skin to enhance the absorption of ointments and gels. Thanks to that, the blood flow in this area will increase, and the active substances will be able to penetrate tissues lying deeper than before. Never allow yourself to be guided by names of medications, but only by the ingredients. The best you can do is to ask a pharmacist. It is particularly important if you use several medications at the same time – their activities can mix. It is less meaningful if you choose a cooling ointment (e.g. Voltaren Max, about 20 PLN,, or a warming one (e.g. Bengay, about 13 PLN, – this is a matter of your preferences.
  • Cooling and warming: According to the RICE rule, sudden injuries are supposed to be cooled as soon as possible. In this case spray ice (e.g. Fastulg Ice Spray, about 15 PLN, works best. Pharmacies also offer cooling plasters (e.g. Ibum Ice XL, about 13 PLN, Excessive effort can cause overloads, which reveal themselves in aching muscles. In this case, relief, relaxation and ease can be brought by a massage with the use of a warming ointment (e.g. Bear Ointment, about 14 PLN,

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