Many people think you only need a chiropractor after a car accident or when you pull your neck or back lifting something heavy. While these instances are certainly true there are many other reasons one may visits a chiropractor for a consultation and exam. One of the most common sports that involves injuries that we see in the office is running. Running puts enormous stress on the musculoskeletal system primarily the joints of the ankles, knees, hips, low back, and neck. The main muscles affected are the lateral thigh muscles, hip flexors, and paraspinal muscles. In a recent article I just read by Porterfield Family Chiropractic there are four important things to know about chiropractors and how runners can benefit from chiropractic care.
1. Chiropractors work on more than necks and backs. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) states that knee pain is the most common running ailment. Chiropractors have equipment like ultra sound, electric stimulation, and cold lasers that can all have a positive effect on sprains and strains. Illiotibial bands often tighten in runners, and put a lot of stress on the knee joint causing pain. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose this problem and treat it with soft tissue techniques like ART, trigger point therapy, and stretching.
2. Chiropractic promotes quicker healing of the injured area. When restrictions occur to the normal motion of joints due to dysfunction or direct injury , no matter where, chiropractors can help to restore them with adjustments, stretching, and exercises speeding up the recovery time and decreasing the likelihood of a re injury.
3. Chiropractors assist in pain management. Injuries associated with running hurt. The pain can often limit or prevent a runner from doing what they love. Chiropractic techniques can help manage the pain often times eliminating the need for dangerous, addictive drugs.
4. Chiropractic reduces the risk of getting re-injured. Many times when a runner gets injured its because they try to do to much to soon or have underlying, undiagnosed, musculoskeletal imbalances that build up over time before finally manifesting as pain. Pain is often the last symptom to show up and the first to leave. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate all of the associated joints, muscles, and joints and properly formulate a plan to restore the musculoskeletal system, not simply mask the pain but find the source. Correcting the source of the problem and maintaining that correction is the key to preventing the problem from returning.
Done the right way, running can be a very enjoyable, rewarding, activity that can bring joy and better health for a lifetime. It is very important that one takes the proper steps to injury prevention and that is done way before you strap on the running shoes. Its never to late or early to consult a chiropractor for a musculoskeletal wellness evaluation, happy running.