HARM: The Acronym Every Runner Needs to Know

Most people who exercise regularly know that if you get an injury, you treat it using the acronym RICE (and if you don’t know about that, click there for the info). However, the other night I was at the launch for a new product for pain and the speaker GP Dr Roger Henderson, was also talking about another acronym HARM that anyone afflicted with a sports injury should also be aware of.

This was a new one on me – despite the fact that I write about health every single day, I, therefore, figured I might not be alone in never hearing it before – and with the London Marathon looming (where Dr H told us a staggering 4,000 runners need attention because they’ve pulled something en-route) I thought it might come in handy to post it

HARM covers all the things you shouldn’t do in the acute phase of an injury – that’s at the very least the first 48 hours – as they can increase issues like swelling and pain. So, what does HARM stand for? This little lot….

H is for Heat: That’s right at first you need to cool injuries – heat just aggravates them.

A is for Alcohol: This dehydrates ligaments which can interfere with healing

R is for Run: Or jump up and down or go on a five-mile hike. Rest is key.

M is for Massage. As nice as rubdown might feel it can again aggravate an acute injury. You should wait 5-7 days afterwards according to Dr Henderson.

And you may ask, what was the pain relieving product that they were launching? It’s a new patch that’s come to the UK from Japan called Salonpas. This contains salicylates, the active ingredient in aspirin and it’s designed to provide targeted pain relief to injured areas. It’s already on sale in lots of other countries and in Japan it’s HUGE. ¬†Here have a pretty picture of the packet!



Cat image: freedigitalphotos.net


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