What’s the difference between an injury and a niggle?

One of the most common things we see / get asked at Trident Manual Therapy is this an injury or just a niggle from the sport or activity I love to do?


But what are the differences? And when should I consult my health practitioner?

There are some important differences to be aware of between an injury and a niggle which require different management and advice strategies.

A niggle is that tension or soreness you might feel during or after an activity. It’s usually only present for a short duration of time (<48hrs). A niggle is usually a warning signal that something needs to be changed in your training and therefore should not be ignored.

Usually niggles can be corrected on the fly whether it’s from a technique change whilst you’re running or a technique change whilst doing a deadlift. If a niggle is recurrent it’s worth getting on top of it before letting it build and build.

However, an injury is that persistent niggle which doesn’t improve overtime. It will often alter gait (walking/ running) patterns and begin to create other compensatory changes above or below the biomechanical chain.

With injuries the activity should be stopped, reduced or modified until the root cause / diagnosis is identified by a qualified health practitioner.

Take home message = AWARENESS. Know your body and identify niggles early rather then waiting for them to become bigger issues.

If you would like to know more about this drop into the clinic or give us a call on (02) 8541 7498.