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Running injuries and how to prevent them…

Posted by admin - May 24, 2015 - Articles

As the weather gets warmer, we’re eager to lace up for a nature hike or get back on the running trail.  Let’s be honest, nothing beats filling the lungs with nature’s essence, absorbing rays of energy on the skin as the heart pumps pure bliss through the body.

Until that is, the knee starts to feel wobbly or the foot feels like you stepped on a sharp tack.

Some aches and pains in the back, legs and shins are common as the muscles adapt to an increased level of activity.  Other injuries like ITB strain, runners knee or plantar fascitis could be sign of poor alignment.

Hip alignment, specifically the pelvic and low back regions can lead to a whole host of compensatory issues down the kinetic chain.  Pelvic dysfunction – or poor pelvic alignment – commonly leads to leg length imbalance.  To compensate for this imbalance, the knee and ankle will rotate which in turn leads to abnormal stress on the muscles and ligaments.

You may not know the imbalance is there until you start your running routine.  If the system is out of balance, and you increase the activity load, an injury is inevitable.  So, its not so much that the activity caused the injury, but rather the activity triggered it beyond threshold.  ” The straw the broke the camels back”  so to speak.

Here are some healthy tips to prevent these injuries before starting up.

  1. Start up gradually;   Don’t try for the 5 or 10Km on day 1.   That’s a recipe for disaster.  Start with a light 1-2Km jog and increase the distance by 1Km every week.  Not only do you have to allow time for muscles to adapt, but also your cardiovascular system.  To much all at once is a huge strain on the lungs and heart.
  2. Stay centered:   take 2-5 min to regulate your breathing and get mindful of the run.  Get centered and use the time while you stretch to be mindful.  Remember, its the space you hold while you run that has the greatest impact on your health.  Be present.
  3. Hydrate yourself:  minimal hydration before the run and plenty of hydration following the run.  This helps to not only rehydrate the system, but helps the flushing out of toxins through the pores.
  4. Stretch the legs, back and upper body:  Running, jogging and hiking involves the entire body.  Make sure you stretch the shoulders, back and legs equally.  As with hydration, minimal before the run, but plenty of stretching after.  Use this time after the run to cool down and get your breathing back into rhythm.
  5. Alignment:  Make sure the body is tuned and aligned.  Chiropractic adjustments to the pelvis and spine are important to ensure the knees, hips and feet are not overly stressed.  The adjustment to the low back will restore nerve flow to the muscles of the legs.  Adjustments in the upper spine and neck will restore balance and coordination to the body.  Regular adjustments prevent injury and enhance performance. It’s that simple.
Nature’s waiting for you, now get out there and enjoy !

To your health,

Dr. John Filo

Yonge Finch Chiropractic & Health Centre
5650 Yonge St.  Suite 1A – Ground floor
North York, ON

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