Chiropractic Care for Runners

Just a few weeks ago, hundreds of runners took to the streets of Pittsburgh the Pittsburgh Marathon and Half-Marathon.  It was an exciting day for many participants, who woke up the morning of the race, did their final stretching and carb-loading, laced up their shoes, joined the crowd and ultimately culminated their months of hard work and training a run they may remember for years to come.  Not everybody was so lucky, however. Unfortunately, there were also a few who had to stay home or watch from the sidelines due to injury while training.

Running puts great stress on the body. With the constant jarring, repetitive motion and impact from feet hitting the pavement, a tremendous amount of pressure is placed on knees, ankles and hips. Although running is beneficial to your overall health, misalignments in the body can increase risk for injury, and can ultimately sideline runners.

But what causes a misalignment? There are a few conditions and habits that influence the misalignments.  One cause is running with old shoes. Most runners know that running with old shoes can cause the dreaded shin splints. However, many do not realize that old shoes can also cause an uneven distribution of weight, causing the spine or pelvis to shift out of alignment. Running in the same direction on the same course or running on slanted surfaces for extended periods of time can also cause misalignments to occur. But misalignments aren’t always caused by the act of running at all. Some runners end up being put at risk of injury because of factors outside of the act of running itself—work.  Many people’s day jobs that require sitting at a desk for long periods of time throughout the week can also be the cause of misalignments that can follow them out of the office and onto the track or tail.

When these misalignments occur, it is important to seek the expertise of chiropractic care. Athletes have used chiropractic care to prevent injury and optimize performance for decades. Dan O’Brien, Olympic Gold Medalist of the Decathlon once explained it well, saying “You obviously can’t compete at your fullest if you’re not in alignment. And your body can’t heal if your back is not in alignment. Every track and field athlete that I have ever met has seen a chiropractor at one time or another. In track and field, it is absolutely essential.”

You do not have to be an Olympian to receive the benefits of chiropractic care. It can be beneficial for everyone, from competitive runners to those who just like to run for exercise and fun. Everyone’s body is unique, and misalignments can cause injuries regardless of build, experience, or ability, so it is important not to ignore the signs your body is sending you. When you come to a chiropractic office, the first thing the experts will do is check you for misalignment.  A single misaligned vertebrae or joint can cause tension throughout the body. Once the source of the discomfort is diagnosed, an adjustment can improve joint mobilization and repair soft tissue, and help get you on the track to returning to your running routine.

Visiting a chiropractor alone is not enough to prevent injuries when running.  It is important for runners to maintain a healthy routine, including a proper warm-up, switching up running routes and day-to-day routine, and by practicing proper stretching techniques. With these lifestyle changes, supplemented by chiropractic visits, runners can achieve the goals they set for themselves in top shape.

Whether you’re a casual runner or the next Olympic champion, Bailey Chiropractic is here to help keep you aligned and injury free.  Contact us at (724) 934-0899 to schedule your appointment today. Happy trails!