As a runner, you're probably quite careful with your workout routine, your diet, and your shoe choice – all to make sure you run your best. But, there's an important part of training and self-care as a runner that you might be leaving out: seeing the chiropractor. Here are three reasons why all runners should see the chiropractor on a regular basis.
Your chiropractor will keep your hips in line, preventing injuries.
If your hips are misaligned in your pelvis, you're putting yourself at risk of injury with every step. When your hips are misaligned, the joints of one leg are forced to absorb more impact and strain than the joints of the other leg. As a result, all of the joints in the leg that absorbs more impact are prone to injuries. Unfortunately, a lot of runners do have misaligned hips. When you run on the side of the road or on another uneven surface, your hips slowly move out of alignment. Your chiropractor can readjust them so they set evenly in your pelvis. Then, the shock of every stride will be absorbed evenly through your joints, reducing your risk of injury.
Keeping your back in alignment improves flexibility.
When your spine is not properly aligned, the out-of-place vertebrae place pressure on various nerves, including those that control your muscles. This can lead to reduced flexibility, which impacts you in several ways as a runner. When you're less flexible than you should be, your stride is inhibited. You may not be able to accelerate as quickly or get into that perfect 180-strides-per minute cadence you're striving for. A lack of flexibility also puts you at risk for torn muscles if you happen to jump to the side or off a curb during your run. By adjusting your spine, your chiropractor will alleviate this excess pressure on your nerves so you can move more freely and avoid strained muscles.
Your chiropractor can address your niggling pains before they become full-blown injuries.
Your thigh feels tight, but you're running through it. Your ankle has been bugging you a little but only at the beginning of runs. Every runner has had these little almost-injuries that they really hope aren't going to get worse. When you visit the chiropractor regularly, he or she can help prevent them from becoming worse. Your chiropractor can palpate a sore area and help you figure out why you're sore in that area. Then, he or she can recommend exercises you can do or steps you can take to make sure the soreness does not escalate.
For example, imagine your knee is sore. Your chiropractor may feel your leg, realize that your hamstrings are right, and advise you that your knee is sore because your tight hamstrings have been pulling on it as you run. He or she can then show you how to stretch and loosen your hamstring. This will relieve the pressure on your knee and prevent a full-blown knee injury from developing.
For more information, contact Stroud Chiropractic Clinic or a similar location.