Happy New Year! As we enter the new year, we know many of you may have some exciting new year’s resolutions you are ready to jump into. Upping your exercise routine is a common new year’s promise but can also be a common cause of injury and pain on your body. Fortunately, we are here to help you. For those of you who are thinking of running this new year, read on to learn how chiropractic care can transform you into a better, stronger, runner.
Importance of Good Posture
Your form is crucial to helping you run fast and efficiently. When you run in proper form, your body should be relaxed as you move and lessen the risk of injury and pain.
If your arms are tense while you run or you find yourself slouching during your exercise, your shoulders, neck, and lower back may become fatigued, achy, strained, and tender.
Aside from preventing muscle aches and soreness while running, your posture also affects your propulsion off the ground and the amount of impact your bones absorb when you land. In some cases, poor posture may cause you to round your shoulders and tighten the chest, preventing you from taking full, easy breaths while running.
Various factors can affect your posture and cause misalignment. These factors can include running in the same direction on the same course, not replacing shoes as often as you should, or frequently running on uneven surfaces. Even the way you relax at home may impact your posture, for instance, if you sit in the same position every day, your muscles may become tight which can lead to strain and pain during exercise.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help You?
Check Your Posture
When your body is misaligned, your running stride and form can become uneven as well. It can also increase your risk of pain and injury. Misalignments can lead to joint dysfunction and cause unnecessary tension in other areas of the body. When you visit a chiropractor, we can check your body for any misalignments that may be causing tension or affecting your form and ability to run as efficiently as possible.
If we notice anything we can use manual manipulation, massage, or machine-assisted manipulation to realign your body and correct your form. If we don’t check for misalignments and correct them at the source, certain areas of the body may experience continuous wear and tear and muscle strain.
Reduce Risk of Injury
When your body is out of alignment, your core may not be engaged properly causing other muscles to compensate. To compensate our body uses muscles, joints, and other soft tissues the wrong way which can lead to pain and injury.
Common injuries seen in runners from misalignment, improper form, or overuse can include ankle sprains, hip pain, knee pain, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis.
With regular visitors to our office, we can conduct functional examinations and posture evaluations to check for any misalignments in the musculoskeletal system that may be causing pain or leading to future injury.
Assist in Recovery
If you are currently in pain, we may be able to help you as well. Pain in your feet, legs, lower back, shoulder, and neck may be caused by strained muscles, inflamed joints, or pinched nerves. Massage, stretching, rest, and the correction of any misalignments or joint dysfunctions can help you recover faster, relieve pain, and get back on track.
We can also recommend exercises to help strengthen muscles and joints to help you regain full mobility and function.
Our #1 Tip
Whether you are a marathon runner or trying to pick up a new habit, don’t forget to stretch before and after your exercise. During your warm-ups, move dynamically, and be sure to include every part of your body–especially your calves and hip flexors to strengthen your form. Your warm-up routine should last at least 5 minutes. Warm up longer if needed. Stretching after your workout is important too, to prevent muscle strain, relax muscles, and reduce the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles.
If you are a runner experiencing pain, wanting to improve your run, or starting a new year’s resolution be sure to visit our office so that we can help guide you into a healthy and happy new year pain-free! For more information on how we can help you run more efficiently or to schedule an appointment, contact The Center for Spine, Sport, & Physical Medicine today.