Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise, especially now when the gyms are closed, many of our patients are taking up running again or for the first time. It's hard to beat the convenience of running. It can be done anywhere, it tones the lower body, and it burns a ton of calories. Pounding the pavement over time, however, can result in injuries to the feet, knees, ankles, and hips and back.
Running is a uniquely repetitive activity, with many of us taking 1000 steps or more per mile. This type of repetition can easily lead to tissue fatigue and injury if you are not careful and proactive in your injury management.
The first step to avoiding injury is to progress slowly and allow sufficient time to recover in between runs, the more experienced you are and the more you get to know your body the more you will be able to dial in your recovery time. If you are just starting, run every second day and don't increase your distance by more than 10-20% per week.
If you are dealing with a running injury and think a chiropractor may be able to help you get back on your feet with less pain, you are most likely correct. Here are four important things to know about chiropractors and how runners can benefit from chiropractic care:
It's a common misconception that a chiropractor's sole purpose is to adjust necks and backs. Chiropractic is a profession, not a treatment, and as such, chiropractors offer expertise in much more than neck and back pain. At Sun Chiropractic, we have the unique perspective on running as both Dr. Castle and Dr. Baron are experienced runners who understand a wide variety of running injuries and how to prevent and treat them.
We also offer several other treatments that can help aid in a speedy recovery: cold laser, shockwave, and custom exercise and rehab programs, to name a few. Regardless of your specific running circumstance, experience or injury, we have the expertise, experience and treatments to help you get back on track quickly.
From increasing blood flow to the hurt area to breaking up restrictions with manual adjustments and soft tissue techniques, chiropractic treatment helps the body heal itself by helping you move better. Chiropractors view the body in its entirety and are skilled and evaluating your entire gait from the foot up. Looking at the whole person as opposed to just one specific painful area often reveals clues as to why you might be sore.
For instance, weak hip abduction (the ability to move your hip away from your body) can lead to a collapse at your knee and can ultimately result in knee pain when running. In this example, your knee is the "victim," but your hip is the "culprit" or cause.
Running injuries can often cause pain that lasts for weeks and sideline your progress. Visiting a chiropractor can help reduce the severity of the pain and shorten the amount of time you experience pain.
A common reason runners end up hurt is their bodies had something "out of whack" in the first place. Since chiropractors take the wellness of the body as a whole into consideration, they often work with runners to minimize the chance of re-injuring themselves or suffering a different injury. By making certain an individual's body is functioning properly, a chiropractor can help the runner feel comfortable moving back into the routine of running.
Running is an excellent form of exercise and stress relief, and many people run for years without incident. However, because of the repetitive nature of running, it's vital to take steps upfront to minimize the chances of getting hurt, including choosing proper shoes, stretching beforehand, and avoiding overtraining.
So as we move to warmer weather and relaxed social distancing, and we see more and more people out running, be aware that prevention and early treatment are the most effective ways to keep yourself healthy and happy.