If you are an active amateur or a competitive runner, using the services of a chiropractor can make a vast change in your overall health, reduce your pain from injuries and improve your alignment for a more effective run. Chiropractors offer excellent rehabilitation care, and they can help you keep your body in top condition as an athlete. In fact, sports is an area that chiropractors can specialize in, focusing their training and experience on targeted treatments for runners.
Recovering from a Sports Injury
Most athletes get injured at one point or another in their career, whether it is while participating in their sport or an accident in their daily lives. Recovery from an injury can be difficult at times, and even after hours of physical therapy, you may feel that you aren’t ready to start training again.
Physical therapy is a great help in recovering strength in soft tissue and muscle after an injury or surgery. However, sports-medicine trained chiropractors can improve the mobility of your joints after an injury. Sports chiropractors work with the soft tissue in conjunction with the joints in a coordinated fashion. An examination will take a look at:
- How you move
- How you stand
- What the arch of your foot looks like
- How your knees are aligned
- How your hips are aligned
After the examination, the sports chiropractor will assess the runner to recommend treatment.
Sports Chiropractic Treatments for Running Injuries
According to U.S. News and World Report, there are four primary chiropractic treatments for running injuries.
- Active Release Technique (ART) – combines massage and stretching by applying deep tension while moving a joint through its range of motion. This treatment is used primarily for adhesions in the muscle.
- Graston Technique – used to break down surface-level scar tissue with hand-held stainless steel tools.
- Functional Dry Needling – releases tension in trigger points through deep muscle stimulation with needles. This treatment can help the psoas muscle, a hip flexor muscle.
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) – releases tension through the stimulation of surface muscles.
General Chiropractic Adjustments
Chiropractors are trained to look at the whole body and align it for optimum balance. Many runners find it beneficial to have regular periodic adjustments to regain their body’s balance from daily stress and the impact of running. Aligning the body can relieve tension or pain that is caused by misalignment before it becomes more than a minor impediment.
Runners may not even realize that the tension they feel is the beginning of pain caused by being out of balance until it is adjusted. Chiropractic adjustments are often part and parcel of a runner’s training program to strengthen and improve performance. They can also help recover from pregnancy and postpartum bodily changes.
Preventing Injury and Promoting Optimal Performance
With regular care of a sports-trained chiropractor, runners can actually prevent injury and promote optimal performance by keeping their bodies fine-tuned, working at maximum capacity. A trained chiropractor can find imbalances that may lead to injury and correct them before they become a problem. With your body in perfect balance, muscles and joints work more efficiently, powering up your performance as a runner and making the most of your body’s resources.
Misalignment can be caused by many common runners’ experiences including running on the same type of surface every day, running on a slanted surface such as a beach or replacing running shoes too infrequently. As a runner, you can work to vary your running surfaces and keep a better watch on your shoes, but your chiropractor will let you know if your body is in need of more balance.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at the number provided at the top of this website. We’re here to help!
5 Red Flags of *FOOT PRONATION* | El Paso, Tx (2019)
Feet: The foundation of pain
99% of feet are normal at birth. But after the first year, 8% develop foot problems, 41% by age 5 and 80% by age 20. By age 40, almost everyone has a foot condition of some sort. Many foot conditions eventually contribute to health concerns, especially the generalized condition of “back pain” or runner’s knee. Spotting a potential problem originating in the feet can prevent other injuries from affecting your health and lifestyle.
Runners who are able to avoid injury are those who land the lightest on their feet, which sustains the lowest levels of impact. Researchers suggest that runners think about landing more softly and adjust their stride so that they land closer to the midfoot.
But that is easier said than done, as most runners tend to be heel-strikers.
Runners with excessive pronation that try to transition to a forefoot strike pattern could be more susceptible to inner foot and ankle injuries.
Runners with high arches who attempt to transition to a forefoot strike pattern are prone to suffer sprained ankles and metatarsal stress fractures.
Running can lead to a number of different injuries
- Sudden trauma
- Developed over time from microtrauma
- Biomechanical errors
- Structural asymmetries
- Tissue weaknesses
- Excessive external loads
Runners do their best to treat pain through stretching or exercises that target the area that hurts, but sometimes the source of the pain might actually be elsewhere. That source is foot imbalance.
Custom orthotics improve biomechanics
Custom orthotics are used to align and support the foot/ankle complex in a more near-normal physiologic position for a weight-bearing foot to prevent dysfunction and/or improve the function of movable body parts. They are indicated to:
- Creates a symmetrical foundation by blocking pronation or support supination
- Provides heel strike shock absorption
- Inhibits serial biomechanical stress
- Enhances neuromuscular re-education
Custom-made orthotics that use viscoelastic materials can help to reduce the musculoskeletal impact from heel strikes when running.
This shock absorption can be of help particularly when there is instability, chronic degeneration, or inflammatory arthritis in the joints.
Orthotics are designed specifically to cushion foot impact and reduce pain triggers.
Everyone has some type of misalignment
Patellofemoral pain management
Understanding the exact mechanical contributions of the knee is critical for the therapist to effectively manage injuries or conditions.
These injuries and conditions affect runners, cross fitters, group exercise enthusiasts (PUMP classes) and simple recreational walkers who spend a lot of time on hills and stairs.