Last week, I wrote about how important it is to get plenty of movement in during your day. I want to use that as a jumping off point for talking about one particular kind of movement—running—and how chiropractic care can help runners stay fit and healthy.
Running can be a wonderful way to get ourselves moving, as well as a great excuse to spend some time outside. But it can also take quite a toll on our bodies. Injuries can range from the dramatic—say, a sprain or a stress fracture—to the more subtle, such as the wearing down of joints after years of feet pounding against the pavement.
Chiropractic care can create and sustain a healthy alignment in our bodies. This strengthens our overall well-being, and helps protect against injuries caused by structural problems in our muscular and skeletal systems.
Some injuries happen mostly due to outside factors. If you’re out for a run, and you slip, fall, and break your ankle, that’s really just bad luck. But many of the most common problems runners experience can happen because of misalignment in the body. This is especially true of chronic, long-term injuries that build up over time.
For example, many runners struggle with chronic knee pain. This is the sort of injury that happens in part because running puts so much stress on the body—stress that is made much worse if the body is out of alignment. Indeed, most often I find that knee pain is the result of an ankle or hip misalignment, not a direct injury to the knee. By regularly working with a chiropractor, a runner can achieve the improved balance, coordination, and range of motion that come from being in proper alignment.
As a result, his or her body is much better prepared to deal with the stress of running. Nagging injuries like chronic knee pain can actually begin to get better because the overall strain on the body is reduced. It’s like adding air to a tire that’s lost some pressure—the performance of the whole vehicle improves because the wheels are now operating in balance with one another.
Like many things in life, the best time to come in for treatment is before you suffer an injury.
Because so many running injuries are the result of chronic stress on the body, if we can reduce the stress by getting you into proper alignment, we can prevent some injuries from happening in the first place. It’s simple really. Think of it as a maintenance, rather than a crisis, approach to health and wellness.
Of course, chiropractic care doesn’t just help reduce the chance of injuries. It can boost performance as well. Elite athletes often turn to chiropractic to help them take their bodies to the next level.
Why shouldn’t you?
Bonus tip: sidewalks are often slanted slightly in order to facilitate water runoff. When running on a sidewalk, your pelvis gets imbalanced as a result. You can correct for this by running to and back on the same sidewalk, rather than crossing to the other side of the street for the run home.