Chiro sets the pace for runners
As with most sports, the role of the chiropractor for the runner fulfils three main functions – injury recovery, injury prevention and form improvement.
Many world-class runners include chiropractic as part of their regular therapy but running, at every level, needs care – from your warm up and cool down and everything in between.
The major consideration of running is the impact on your joints, knees, heels and ankles. A chiropractor will help you understand how your body works, where it absorbs the impact and how to manage it so you can run comfortably, better and longer and avoid injury. Time off your feet takes a long time to build back up from – so avoiding down-time is key.
The impact on your body from running varies according to terrain. Road running is notorious for ‘shin splints’ – an adverse reaction on your shin bones to running on a hard surface regularly. The solutions are many and varied and include: improving your gait (running posture) so you absorb more of your body weight through the surface area of your feet, ensuring you have the very best running shoes that you can afford and also to vary your training programme.
Running is an extension of good posture. As we need correct posture in life for standing, sitting and sleeping, so we must also adopt the right stance in our sporting activities.
Maintaining our frame in a supportive way is fundamental to comfortable running, and of course our progress. Ensuring your spine is aligned and pelvis are balanced is just the start of a chiropractor’s work. If you are running with a body that is out of alignment you are inviting all sorts of potential for pain and injury. Maintaining a correctly aligned body will also have a positive effect on the way you run and you’ll see a huge difference in your performance times, speed and endurance levels.
If you are experiencing pain and injury through running, your chiropractor can help. Following a non-invasive examination and asking you questions about your regime, you can recover through sports massage, adjustments and strengthening/rehabilitation exercises. Sometimes the pain you feel is due to trapped nerve endings which can be eased through the gentle, hands on approach of a chiropractor. Other more obvious injuries such as sprains and tendon issues can also be improved through chiropractic care.
For all sports, chiropractors are trained to look for red flag areas or tension points. Enjoy the additional care that you can get from a chiropractor to ensure your training is consistently effective and injuries avoided.
Warm up, cool down and drink lots of water – the same for any sport
Lunges are a great warm up exercise
Warm up your hips in particular with circular motions
Stretch thoroughly after training (not before)
Eat a well-balanced diet for fuel and to energise your body
Running in a group will challenge you and it’s also safer than running alone
Vary your running programme, in its terrain, intensity and time on your feet
Invest in good running shoes and replace them every few hundred miles
Remember that your daily life is reflected in your sporting activity – don’t sit for too long at work without a break and stretch often
If you’re a beach runner, stick to the water’s edge where the sand is flattest
Rest, sleep and take regular days off your running schedule to allow your body to restore itself