Common Running Injuries Treated by a Sports Chiropractor
Most runners will sustain some kind of injury in their training because of overuse and repetitive movement hitting the pavement as you train and prepare yourself for your 1st or repeat 1/2 marathon, full marathon, 1/2 Ironman, or full Ironman. The mileage one runs can lead to several different injuries including the ankle, foot, knee, hip, and calf. If you have never sustained injuries to these body regions prior, one should expect a faster recovery from the injury as long as he/she follows the recommendations of their sports chiropractor. Below will highlight a few of these common running injuries that sports chiropractors encounter and treat throughout running season.
Spraining your ankle mildly when running is common more often as you turn a corner/change direction quickly, and not paying attention to what’s in front of you. These injuries typically are Grade I sprains, with pain and with mild, limited range of motion. Sports medicine chiropractors treat the ankle with manipulation, utilization of Kinesiotape to support the ankle so you can still run, and rehab exercises initially to help stimulate healing and to strengthen the ankle. You’ll still need to apply PRICE (Pressure, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) for the 1st 48-72 hours to help reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. Once the swelling subsides, then the sports chiropractor can utilize Active Release Techniques (ART-if he/she is certified in it) to break down scar tissue that has formed around the tendons and ligaments of the ankle to improve mobility and range of motion.
Running injuries common to the calf include shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, and calf strains. In acute scenarios, applying ice with a barrier over the skin (to avoid burning), manipulation of the lower leg/ankle, stretching, and Kinesiotape can help support the tissues to allow you to move easier with less pain, and inflammation. Once the initial swelling reduces, then, one can switch to heat with a barrier too, but continue with manipulation, Kinesiotape, and ART by the sports chiropractor.
Hip and knee injuries can include IT band friction, and hip strains (of the piriformis muscle in the buttock), and patellar (knee) tracking problems resulting in pain. These injuries require manipulation of the hip, pelvis, and knee, including Active Release to stretch the tight muscles and tendons involved. Also, gluteal and knee strengthening and hip stability strengthening exercises will reduce the muscle tension and imbalance caused from running repetitively and reduce the likelihood of re-injury. One will have to perform these exercises frequently through his/her training to avoid re-injury.
The sports chiropractor will evaluate one’s gait at the initial appointment to determine how the hip, knee, ankle, and foot move relative to one another, providing a glimpse of how their injury may have occurred. This will lead to the most efficient and proper course of treatment to allow the person to get back to running as quickly as possible.
Although these are common injuries that occur in running, there are many more that can develop due to your training regimen. It is best to not wait for the injury to worsen, but to seek out the expertise and knowledge of a sports chiropractor who treats runners to ensure the success of not limiting your ability to run your race.
Brian Marion, DC, CCSP, ART, CKTP
2202 N. Lincoln Ave Suite Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-2790 www.lincolnparkchiropratic.com