There are a LOT of benefits to running. However, sometimes the activity – not unlike many other sports – can wreak havoc on your body. Be it acute injuries or more chronic ailments like bursitis in the hips to “runners knee”, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis, we see it all.
So, what exactly can a chiropractor do to treat a running injury AND to help keep runners healthy and injury free?
Well, checking for any sort of misalignment(s) would be the first step. That’s because misalignment of the spine can cause an undue amount of tension on any variety of body parts, as opposed to equally distributing pressure (which is what a properly aligned spine would do). Some of the major causes of improper alignment are: running in the same direction every day; frequently running on uneven surfaces; not wearing appropriate running shoes; and, not replacing your running shoes often enough (which is usually every two hundred to three hundred miles). And, if there is a misalignment and it isn’t corrected, then all the strain and wear and tear that you’ve been feeling will just keep lingering and causing problems. It is also a great idea to have your chiropractor take a look at your running form. The doctors at Fletcher Chiropractic are trained on how to look at running form and how to help you achieve the best form for your body type and running style.
So, what if it’s NOT a running issue that’s causing the problem? Well, your chiropractor will work with you to help determine what, exactly, is the contributing to the misalignment. Believe it or not, there are a LOT of factors that can contribute to improper spine and/or pelvic alignment, such as poor posture, sitting incorrectly (or for too long) at your job, and weak core muscles. These are all things that can be identified by a chiropractor, and corrected with appropriate treatment.
Another perk your chiropractor can provide is showing you how, exactly, to warm up AND cool down. This would include instruction on how to warm up your hips and spine, as well as ending your run with a brief bit of stretching. The best warm up in regards to injury prevention involves exercises that support the spine, get you moving, and lubricate the joints, allowing you to move as freely as possible. This is why you want to move dynamically prior to running – to prepare your body for the activity, and to stretch afterwards in an effort to stave off injuries…hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, and quads are all areas that may need to be stretched after each and every run.
If you’re dealing with injuries associated with running, please know that we can help! The providers at Fletcher Chiropractic, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, are skilled in chiropractic sports medicine and would love to help you hit the ground running….without pain, and properly aligned, of course!