The importance of Chiropractic care for Runners! – Dr. Amber Eckel, DC

Running is great way to stay in shape and it also provides many health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular activity, brain function, joint mobility,, and of course, keeps you looking and feeling fit. For many people, running in groups also provides as a social outlet.

Many anthropologists believe that humans were born to run. Running may have been one of our first major adaptations to our environment as humans began hunting large game.  Today running can mean various levels of commitment, from an occasional run to an obsessive need to run. Every year on the lower mainland there are hundreds of races ranging from 5K’s to 50K Ultra Marathons.

Unfortunately, especially with beginning runners, injuries can rapidly take the fun out of running. Common injuries include plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, shin splints, IT band syndrome and hip and knee pain can often result form improper training and lack of proper warmup or recovery. Many of these conditions are completely PREVENTABLE.

The repetitive stress and strain of running on hard surfaces, combined with poor running mechanics and improper footwear have been cited as possible causes of injury. There are many professional running stores (our personal favourite – the Running Room), that can help you lower the risk of acquiring a running injury. Unfortunately, some chronic running injuries may actually be a result of poor spinal posture and hip alignment.  The hips, pelvis and lumbar spine need to be in correct alignment in order for the lower extremities, knees, and feet to move smoothly and efficiently. 

Just like a car with alignment problems, a person running on a misaligned posture will cause uneven wear and tear on the joints. This will cause muscles and ligaments on one side to tighten and the opposite side to compensate and become lax, becoming a target for soft tissue injuries and pain.  Chiropractic care is an effective way to correct these spinal and pelvic misalignments, which can help runners prevent injury and achieve their training goals.

While many runners will seek out the treatments of a massage or physical therapist for muscle injury, these injuries will continue to reoccur if their spinal and hip alignment is not corrected.

Chiropractors use diagnostic tools and specific analysis of the spine and pelvis to help determine whether alignment is optimal. A series of gentle chiropractic adjustments in combination with soft tissue therapies (ART, IASTM) are best to gradually realign the spine and hips which will help prevent further injury and improve athletic performance.  For runners, chiropractic care can be an integral part to your training routine and success!