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The evaluation and treatment of muscle and joint function should not wait until injury occursRunners can greatly benefit from Chiropractic Care by achieving and maintaining optimal muscle and joint function, but since the running is a sport with a high injury rate, it is essential that the runner is proactive in injury prevention. When injuries occur they not only interfere with training and racing but they will also pre-dispose the athlete to future injuries. Running injuries are commonly attributed to faulty biomechanics, rapid increases in training mileage, and improper footwear. These are certainly important aspects of injury, but for the runner it is essential to consider the repetitive nature of running, and the effect that running has on their body.

The evaluation and treatment of muscle and joint function should not wait until injury occurs

Throughout the running cycle, an athlete generates thousands of strides over the course of a run. This leads to what is known as a repetitive stress injury (RSI), which affects the muscles, joints, and ligaments. As a result, inflammation develops within the tissue, and the body responds by laying down scar tissue in an attempt to repair and stabilize the area. This scar tissue results in adhesions between the tissues. These adhesions restrict motion, reduce circulation, inhibit nerve function, and reduce the ability of the muscle to contract. All of these factors will interfere with optimal performance and predispose the runner to injury.

Due to the repetitive nature of running, even athletes who possess good biomechanics and a well-designed training plan will develop adhesions. Over time these adhesions will build-up and lead to injury, but long before symptoms appear the athlete’s performance will be affected. For this reason the evaluation and treatment of muscle and joint function should not wait until injury occurs.

Chiropractic Care for the runner is centered on the identification of movement restrictions and soft tissue-adhesions that are placing excessive strain on the body and impeding optimal performance. Several aspects of body function will be evaluated as they relate to running. These include stride biomechanics, foot function, movement and flexibility of key joints, muscle strength and core stability, and the presence of scar tissue adhesions and soft tissue dysfunction. Once identified treatment will work to remove any dysfunction that has been identified. Many athletes will use Chiropractic Care as part of their regular training program to stay injury free and help reach their performance goals.