For runners, chiropractic care can be used for injury prevention because it emphasises proper alignment of the spine and pelvis as well as the correct activation and use of your muscles to ensure optimal performance.
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional athlete when it comes to preparing for long distance running there are a few common injuries you need to be aware of. These injuries include:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fascitis
- IT Band Sydnrome
- Knee tracking problems
- Hip bursitis
- Low back pain
Chiropractic care can help prevent these injuries by getting regular adjustments, stretches, and strengthening exercises. Chiropractors can also help with; or direct you to other health professionals for long distance running advice such as wearing the correct footwear with regards to foot shape, structure and requisite arch support; appropriate footwear to suit the terrain and activity you’re running on; the importance of running on even surfaces, differing terrains and varying your running path to ensure there is no overuse of the same muscles and joints and reduce chances for misalignment. Correcting your desk or work ergonomics to alternate between sitting and standing positions or to ensure you’re shifting your posture regularly as the time spent in this positions can impact your running, as well as provide information for hydration and supplementation to help you run to your best time.
Benefits you can gain from regular chiropractic treatments
- Increased mobility and range of motion
Mobile and relaxed joints allow for greater flexibility and movement, particularly through the pelvis and hips; all of which benefit a runner’s gait and time. unrestricted joints and better range of motion will definitely help a person move more freely and help to avoid running injuries.
- Strengthening through flexibility
Combining mobility and strength training with particular focus on core stability, gluteal muscle firing patterns, and postural awareness; Preventing injury with a pre-run warmup; dynamic and rotary movements which support your spine, mobilise your joints and wake up your pelvis and hip sockets. As well as post-run stretches which are just as important to to minimise risk of injury with particular focus on calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, gluteals, piriformis, and lower back.
- Improve healing time for injuries
Unfortunately, runners frequently deal with injuries, some of which take weeks or months to heal. The first action for runners after they have been injured is to stop running so it can heal however most runners do not want to risk losing the stamina and running fitness that interrupting their training regime brings on. Chiropractors can work with runners who have injured themselves from the repetitive motion of running regularly. By using chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors can promote healing in the body and improve movement as a whole getting runners back into their running programs as soon as possible.
- Injury prevention and performance optimisation
A misaligned spine and pelvis can cause other parts of the body to be weaker and more susceptible to injury. When this occurs the body often compensates which then leads to high risk of injury. Chiropractic care helps to keep the spine in alignment, which can have a kinematic chain effect throughout the body. Regular adjustments can reduce the negative impact the jarring motion of running has on a person’s body, and help avoid running-relating injuries.
Every body responds to exercise and strength and conditioning differently so its important when you’re first considering any race to consult with your chiropractor in conjunction with your running coach, or PT to put together a treatment plan that is ideal for you making sure your body is resistant to injury while also ensuring your body is in its optimal running condition and performance level for your training and for your race day.