There are a lot of benefits to running. Setting goals and increasing running ability is exhilarating; however, it can also be disappointing if injury strikes. Unfortunately, running injuries are not rare, which is not that surprising when you consider that each step causes a runner to absorb a force three to four times her own body weight![i] The most common running injuries are plantar fascitis, runner’s knee, shin splints, and IT band syndrome. While many of these injuries are common, they are also preventable. To avoid injury and to remain healthy in your running routine:
1. Avoid adding too much, too fast. Most running injuries occur because runners attempt too much too quickly, whether it is an increase in speed or mileage. Set attainable goals and include rest days to help the body recover.
2. Stretch and Massage. Regular stretching after runs will increase flexibility and range of motion. Stretching can also help reduce soreness and prevent injury. Foam rolling the iliotibial band (IT band) is very important for runners to incorporate in their daily routine. This helps reduce strain on both the knees and hips by relaxing the connective tissue that runs along the side of the leg between both joints. Massage therapy can help improve recovery and boost running performance. Massage loosens tight muscles and helps maintain flexibility, which is important in preventing injury.
3. Choose the proper shoes for you. Running shoes should be designed to work with your body’s mechanics. Each body has variables that affect stride, such as over- or under-pronation; choosing the right pair of running shoes for your particular stride will help you feel better and help your body better balance and absorb the stress from running. Visit a specialty running store where the associates can evaluate the wear on a current pair of running shoes and observe your stride on a treadmill to help you choose the most appropriate running shoes for your stride.
4. Visit a chiropractor regularly. While our bodies can handle the shock of running when perfectly aligned, most of us do not experience good alignment due to the sedentary nature of our jobs and poor posture. In addition, other physiological conditions, such as flat feet, can cause an imbalance of stress in the body. With misalignment, over time, the shock of running can lead to pain and injury. As a chiropractor, Dr. Kent can evaluate your posture, address misalignment that may lead to injury, and teach techniques and exercises to prevent injury.
5. Nutrition & Supplementation. Make sure that you are getting enough calories to support the amount and intensity of running you are performing, as well as the proper percentages of macro-nutrients. If you are not sure what those amounts are, Dr. Kent , also a Nutritionist, can help design a program to meet your specific needs. Additionally, runners have specific nutrient needs to help provide ligament, muscle and joint support. Keep in mind that even the best efforts to eat healthy, often fall short of what our bodies truly need stay healthy and prevent injury and illness.
Are you already feeling pain or that something is “off” when you run? Chiropractic care can also help with the therapy for common running injuries. Dr. Kent can evaluate any misalignments that are contributing to the underlying conditions. Initially, her focus will be on relieving the pain and preventing further injury. Next, Dr. Kent will concentrate on correcting the issue, which may include prescribing exercises and therapies to build the affected areas of the body and train the body in proper functioning. Finally, regular visits and necessary alignments will help prevent new injuries and keep you on track with your goals.
Most running injuries are preventable. Include regular chiropractic care into your running routine to help ensure a strong running career. Call us today to schedule your appointment or Book your Appointment directly on our website.