Running may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but most enthusiasts will tell you that there are few things more satisfying than achieving a “runner’s high” post-workout. Running can be easily customized to fit the exerciser’s preference. Indoors, outdoors, uphill, downhill, sprinting, or cross country, given all of its many forms, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to run. Like most forms of exercise, the benefits of running are varied and vast.
When performing any physical activity, it is important to be aware of the potential injuries you might sustain. By doing so, you can effectively prevent injury from occurring. On the other hand, injury can and does happen even when you’re extremely cautious. Everyone from brand-new exercisers to decorated athletes is at risk. It is important to understand what injuries can occur, how to avoid them, and how to treat them if necessary.
Here in Cornelius and the the greater Charlotte area, every year several events and races have residents eagerly lacing up and training. As we embark on the latter half of 2023, many running-based events will take place including:
- The Charlotte Marathon (November 4th, 2023)
- The Lake Norman Half Marathon Elf Classic (December 16th, 2023)
- Huntersville Half Marathon & 5k (December 9th, 2023, and December 8th, 2023)
For the next several months, many residents will be training for these upcoming marathons. These events will often prompt participants to ask questions related to running. Most commonly these questions are about how to train, how to avoid injury, and how to ultimately manage injury if it does occur. There are a few schools of thought used to answer these questions, chiropractic care and intervention have been known and proven to be an asset to many a runner. As a result, in this particular post, we’ll discuss how chiropractic care is a great tool in the prevention and management of running-based injuries.
Setting the Stage: Common Injuries that Occur as a Result of Running
Before we address how chiropractic care works to prevent and manage injuries stemming from running, it’s helpful to understand the most common running injuries and how/why they happen. Below is a list of common injuries caused by running. Keep in mind that the following are merely examples of routine injuries and are not representative of every injury that can occur as a result of running.
- Runner’s Knee: This injury is usually related to overuse and occurs when the kneecap is out of alignment. If left untreated the cartilage in your kneecap will likely wear down.
- Stress Fracture: A small crack in the bone that causes pain and discomfort, typically in the shin and feet. This fracture is common in inexperienced runners who push themselves too hard and too fast. Continuing to exercise with a fracture can exacerbate its severity.
- Achilles Tendinopathy: Also commonly referred to as Achilles tendinitis, Achilles tendinopathy occurs when the Achilles tendon is impacted by overuse. It can also be worsened by runners who suddenly increase the intensity or duration of their runs without proper pacing and exposure.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue found in the bottom of the foot extending from heel to toe). It can manifest as severe pain, especially heightened during your first steps in the morning. It is an injury that many athletes are vulnerable to. At the same time, it is one of the more common injuries that chiropractic clinics treat.
- And More: Other common running injuries include muscle pulls, IT band syndrome, blisters, temperature-related injuries, sprains, shin splints, and so on.
The Benefits of Using Chiropractic Care as a Preventative Tool
Unbeknownst to many, chiropractors often play a key role in helping athletes perform. Many chiropractors specialize in sports-related injury prevention and treatment. Sports and chiropractic care go hand in hand because many common injuries occur due to poor alignment, and chiropractors specialize in helping their patients achieve optimal alignment through forceful yet targeted manipulation of the spine.
Runners can help keep their alignment in check by wearing proper shoes, exposing themselves to various running surfaces, and regularly stretching. However, routine trips to the chiropractor Cornelius NC can be a lifesaver for many, because not only do those trips help prevent injury, but the very nature of chiropractic care helps athletes remain limber, increase agility, and manage pain. While chiropractic care has been proven to help individuals of all ages, keep in mind that as we age our bodies often become that much more susceptible to injury. If you are middle-aged or older, integrating chiropractic care into your running regimen and routine can significantly reduce the threat of injury.
What to do When Running Injury Occurs: Why You Should Visit a Chiropractor
Novice, intermediate, or Olympian, all of us are susceptible to injury. Sometimes even the most prepared among us can fall victim to injury under the right (or should we say wrong) set of circumstances. A trip to the chiropractor is not just beneficial for prevention, but also for those looking to heal their bodies post-running injury.
A lot of people find themselves deferring to physical therapy in the event of a sports-related injury.
Lots of people find relief when combining physical therapy and chiropractic care. While physical therapy is often ideal for improving strength and coordination, chiropractic care improves joint mobilization which is key to a runner’s success. Cornelius chiropractors can also pinpoint areas of the body that are improperly aligned, which can be an underlying contributor to injury.
As an athlete, it’s important to take very good care of your body, and chiropractic care will undoubtedly help you to do so. Not only does it help to prevent injury, but it can also be used as a tool to help you recover and realign your joints after an injury occurs. In the end, whether you’re a world-class athlete with many a marathon under your belt or a running novice learning the ropes, anyone can benefit from sessions with a reputable sports chiropractor. At Lakeside Sports Chiropractic and Physical Therapy, Dr. Jennifer Lidstrom and her team of experts are here to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to contact us today.
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