Olympic and professional sports teams seem to have realized the importance of always having a sports chiropractor available to treat athletes and ensure they are able to compete at their optimum performance level.
Proper chiropractic care, however, is not simply for professional athletes. A qualified sports chiropractor can benefit any athlete.
Common Running Injuries
Anyone who runs knows that this sport comes with its own set of injuries. Some of these include Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, knee tracking problem and IT band syndrome. While chiropractic care will not cure every problem related to the sport of running, many of these problems can be resolved once a runner’s spinal alignment problems are addressed and resolved.
It’s All About the Alignment
A qualified sports chiropractor understands the importance of alignment when it comes to all athletes, including runners. This is because their training has taught them that when the spine is misaligned, muscles and nerves can feel unequal tension and pressure. Such pressure can increase the strain, wear and tear on the body which frequently results in injury. In order to avoid improper alignment, chiropractors recommend that runners:
- Switch out running shoes so that they are not wearing the same pair each day.
- Run on different types of surfaces such as grass, wood chips, pavement and track.
- Move as close to the water as possible if the runner is on the beach. This provides a surface that is less likely to shift.
- Making sure to properly stretch before running is one of the best ways to prevent sports injury.
Warm-Ups Can Be Key
Warming up before running is one of the most important things athletes can do to avoid serious injury. There are many resources available on how to warm up properly, and which muscle groups are the most important. A basic runner’s warm up routine should include the following 6 kinds of stretch:
Arm Swings – Keeping arms straight, move them in a motion similar to backstroke swimming.
Hip Circles – Using a wall or chair for balance, work one leg at a time. Alternate raising the leg, keeping the knee bent while circling the leg 10 times clockwise, then counterclockwise.
Diagonal leg stretches – Holding onto a wall or a chair, extend the legs, one at a time, and swing the leg from side to side in front of you.
Torso Twists – Turn your torso from the far left to the far right in repeated motions, thus loosening up the muscles in and around your ribcage.
Lunges – Alternate lunging legs in this exercise. Keep one leg straight and lunge with the other leg, keeping that knee bent. Make sure to keep your weight toward the back so that you don’t experience too much pressure in the knee.
Sports chiropractors have found that encouraging patients to take time before running can many avoid injuries that are frequently associated with the sport. Having frequent chiropractic adjustments can also help to ensure that runners are in proper alignment and in top form.