How Chiropractors Prevent Injury in Runners
"Sports chiropractors are probably the best manual therapists for preventing injury and optimizing performance," says Duke. "That's why there's always a sports chiropractor on Olympic and professional sports teams."
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 in patients, ranging from recreational runners to Olympians and New York City Marathon winners, are plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, IT Band Syndrome, patella (knee) tracking problems and hip bursitis.
What Causes Improper Alignment?
Major causes of improper alignment include running in the same direction on the same course every day; running on 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
*Run as close to the water as possible when on the beach
*Buy two of the same type of running shoes, and switch between the pairs
"There's a lot that contributes to improper spine or pelvic alignment, and sometimes it has nothing to do with running," says Duke. "It has to do with a day job, where you sit in one particular position all day and then go for a run. The muscles are in a state of tightness on one side and are lengthened on the other, and then you go for a run and your pelvis shifts."
Switch positions and seats, if possible, every 30 minutes during the day. Varied posture remains the best posture, according to Duke, so cross your left leg, then a half-hour later, cross your right leg; sit on top of your ankle, sit straight, and even slouch.
Try sitting on a stability ball—it challenges your abdominal muscles and allows you to rock your pelvis, which lubricates your joints. Switch between a chair and stability ball, stand, and take short walk breaks if you work in an office.