Chiropractic for Runners
Taking care of our body is as important as training. With the racing season already here, as runners we need to focus not only on training, nutrition, but also on physio and keeping our body healthy. A great type of physio therapy for runners is chiropractic.
What is chiropractic?
Most people think of chiropractic as just “cracking the back”, but sports chiropractors are also trained in muscle work and they perform Active Release Technique (ART). Chiropractic therapy provides muscle release, manual adjustments to joints, mostly in the spine, to relieve pain and improve the range of motion. When our spine is misaligned, it can cause tightness in the back, hips and even extremities.
How does it help our running form?
Misalignment of the spine can cause unnecessary tension on a specific body part creating uneven pressure on other parts. By correcting and realigning our spine imbalances and improve our joint mobility, it allows us to run with proper biomechanics to prevent injuries. Having a misaligned vertebrae and joints can cause a lot of tightness in the lower back and hips which are a crucial part of proper running biomechanics. For example, for people suffering from chronic IT Band injuries, the problem is often the pelvic being misaligned.
Ideal physio therapy plan:
By getting chiropractic therapy combined with massages, acupuncture or dry needling will ensure that the spine and joints will be aligned, and that the important muscles for runners (back and hips) will be released. After a few sessions of chiropractic, you will start to feel a much more fluid range of motion when you run.
Tips on keeping the spine and pelvic aligned:
Make sure you perform a dynamic warm up before you run or exercise. Doing these warm up exercises will ensure that you release tension in the hips, pelvic, hamstrings and engage the glute medius.
- Hip Circles- Circle the hips from right to left 10 reps and left to right 10 reps.
- Side Lunges- Start with feet together, lunge to the left keeping your right leg straight and extended and your left knee bent. Do 10 reps and switch to the right leg. This will engage the glutes and keep your pelvis level while you run.
- Squat with Calf Raise– Squat and lift your heels, this will again engage the glutes and warm up the calve muscles. Perform 10 reps.
- Leg Swings- Standing, hold on to the wall and swing your left leg forward and back then side to side in front of your body. Perform 10 reps each and then switch to the right leg.
- Backstroke Arm Swings– Swing your straight arms in a backstroke swimming motion. This will open up the chest and release tension in the shoulders. Perform 10 reps.
- Thoracic Twist- Twist your torso to the left and right, this will activate and release tension in the rib cage. Perform 10 reps.
Train Hard, Eat Right, Feel Great!