03 Mar 5 Preventable Road Blocks to Running Your Best Marathon Yet
The countdown is on for the SLO Marathon. And whether you have done this before or you are new to marathon running, every training run either brings you closer to that Boston Marathon qualifying time or to the edge of injury.
At Hart Family Chiropractic, we know you’re running a fine line. While some injuries are not preventable, a vast majority of them are. Here are five of the most common injuries that marathon runners face and how they can be prevented:
1. Runner’s Knee. You know that dull pain in the knee cap that plagues so many runners throughout the world? It doesn’t have to be your training partner as you prepare for your race. A lot can be done to either prevent the pain from setting in or to deal with it once it has started.
Many knee injuries and pains are related to the way your hips, legs, knees, or feet are aligned. This alignment problem can occur if you have wide hips or underdeveloped thigh muscles, if you’re knock-kneed, if you have subluxations, or over-pronate. Regular chiropractic adjustments can correct the underlying biomechanical issues that bring on your knee pain, so consider seeing a chiropractor if you want to leave your knee pain in the dust.
2. Plantar Fasciitis. These are two words that every runner hates to hear. The pain comes from inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects the toes to the heel bone, and it’s the most common cause of heel pain for runners and non runners alike.
Chiropractic adjustments of your feet and appropriate lifestyle modifications can help restore function and relieve pain. Since biomechanical factors are often at the root of plantar fasciitis, chiropractic adjustments of the feet along with appropriate lifestyle modifications are a proven method to help restore function and relieve pain. Your chiropractor might also suggest orthopedic insoles as another option to prevent heel pain.
3. Shin Splints. This injury needs little introduction. Most runners have had at least some experience with shin splints. Factors that can predispose some people to develop shin splints include: tight lower leg muscles, weak ankles, over-pronation of feet, or poor footwear.
As with most other running injuries, poor biomechanics of not just the foot and ankle but the knee, hip, or low back may also contribute to the pain. If you develop shin splints and rest alone doesn’t resolve the issue, see your chiropractor for a thorough evaluation of the problem. Chiropractic treatment can help to identify and correct any underlying biomechanical abnormalities to decrease the pain and improve function.
4. Iliotibial Band Syndrome. A fibrous ligament called the iliotibial band (ITB), extends from the outside of the pelvis to the outside of the lower leg. When this band is tight it may rub against the bottom, outer portion of the thigh bone and cause pain or aching.
IT band irritation can be caused by your training conditions or muscular structure. It is also commonly tied to misalignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine. A chiropractor is uniquely suited to help runners avoid problems with the IT band. Chiropractic care will likely start with a full evaluation of the pelvic joints and lumbar spine function, as well as an assessment of the feet to determine joint dysfunction.
5. Repetitive Motion Injuries. Distance running is nothing if not a repetitive motion. Repetitive motion injuries are the most common form of injury associated with running. And of all the repetitive motions runners go through, the most damaging is the heel strike. When the heel strikes the ground it sends a forceful shock through your body’s lower extremities.
When the joints of the feet fail to absorb the shock of running, the muscles of the legs, hips, pelvis and low back are often forced to work overtime to dampen these damaging forces. The increased effort of these muscles can cause chronic muscle damage over time leading to pain and reductions in performance. Luckily, chiropractic care can ensure the alignment and health of the joints so instrumental to healthy running.