You’ve trained for months–even years, to be physically ready to endure the hardships of a marathon. Our patients at Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic (Augusta, GA) make sacrifices on a daily basis to get closer to their goal of competing in a marathon. If you’re in the midst of training, then you’re probably already well versed in the importance of strength training, endurance training and nutrition. What many athletes may overlook however, is a plan to tackle the current injuries as well as a proactive plan to prevent future injuries. Our patients that regularly compete in marathons integrate our personalized treatments into their training regimen.
For runners, chiropractic can be used for injury prevention because it emphasizes proper alignment of the spine and pelvis. The most common running-related injuries we see in our patients, which range from recreational runners to professional athletes, are plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, IT Band Syndrome, patella (knee) tracking problems and hip bursitis. An informal survey of Olympic athletes showed doctors of chiropractic to be the most popular of all health care providers.
Athletes have been benefiting from Chiropractic care for decades and the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 saw Chiropractors become an integral component of the medical teams that traveled with and treated the athletes. These athletes know that part of training ‘smart’ means maintaining an alignment that is absolutely necessary for high performance. There is a growing body of scientific research that proves chiropractic helps athletic agility, balance, reaction time, and power. Runners stand to benefit the most from chiropractic because of the grueling nature of the sport and it’s potentially detrimental affects on the joints of the foot, knees, and hips. Just like tires can wear out quickly on a poorly aligned front end, the human body breaks down when it’s out of alignment. When this happens, it is called arthritis and can become permanent without care.
What Causes Improper Alignment?
Major causes of improper alignment include running in the same direction on the same course every day; running often slanted surfaces, such as a beach; and not replacing shoes every few hundred miles. Fix these training errors that cause misalignment with a few simple tweaks:
- Vary your running surface—pavement, track, asphalt, grass, dirt, wood chips—a few times a week, and you’ll naturally run on different courses.
- Run as close to the water as possible when on the beach, as the sand tends to be more flat there.
- Buy two of the same type of running shoes, and switch between the pairs.
Common Causes of Pain
Lack of movement: An area that is stiff, tense or does not move enough can cause pain. It is important to move gently and increase your range of motion carefully.
Improper movement: Whether you’re creating too much impact from heel striking, reaching too far forward with your stride, pushing off with your feet at the end of your stride or asking certain parts of the body to do more work than they are designed to do.
Overuse: Overuse is not only caused by too much repetitive movement. Lack of movement and improper movement are often the cause of overuse in other parts of the body. If your hips are too stiff, your legs have to overwork; if your posture is not aligned, your muscles have to work to keep you standing; if you heel strike, your knees absorb the brunt of the impact.
How Can We Help You?
If you were our patient and came in with an injury, our treatment approach would most likely include the following:
1. Reducing joint inflammation and pain through the use of our cold laser therapy, soft tissue massage, and gentle mobilizations.
2. Normalizing joint function with specific Chiropractic adjustments and mobilization techniques to areas of restricted movement in the knee, ankle and surrounding joints, in order to increase movement, improve function and reduce pain.
3. A rehabilitation exercise program tailored to your specific condition. When appropriate we introduce exercises to improve strength, endurance and stability. We also work on improving your balance and sense of joint position. This will assist you to reach your pre-injury state quicker and also help to prevent the occurrence of new injuries.
If you are interested in a seeing a chiropractor in Augusta GA are training for a marathon, you can give our office a call or go on our website to set up a complimentary consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you to discuss treatment tailored to benefit you and your next race.
The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.
Augusta GA Chiropractors Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic provides customized chiropractic care to the Augusta GA, Martinez GA, and Evans GA communities. Visit our main website at www.georgia-clinic.com for customized chiropractic in Augusta GA.