Many runners will tell you that running isn't just a sport, it's a lifestyle. However, because the running lifestyle can be so demanding on your body, you might consider opting for proactive physical therapy through your chiropractor.
Here are some common physical therapy treatments recommended by chiropractors for runners.
The Need for Knee Relief
One of the most common overuse injuries suffered by runners is knee pain. However, even if your knee are only feeling a bit creaky, your chiropractor can set you up with some physical therapy treatments to keep your knees healthy.
- Balance is Strength: many runners experience knee issues, not because there's anything inherently wrong with their knees, but because they're asking them to do too much. An easy way to test how much stress a runner is putting on their knees is to do a series of single-leg movements. For instance, your chiropractor might have you stand on one leg and attempt to bring their other knee toward your chest. If you struggle to maintain your balance, your chiropractor can point point the muscle(s) groups in your lower half and core that aren't properly supporting your knees when you run. After making the diagnoses, your chiropractor can recommend specific physical therapy exercises to build strength and balance to relieve the excess strain placed on your knees.
The ART of Recovery
Properly recovering from your runs will keep you running happier, healthier, faster, and longer. One of the latest innovations in running recovery treatments is Active Release Therapy (ART). Your chiropractor can both administer and teach you this valuable physical therapy treatment.
- Pull, Resist, Release, Repeat: ART can be effective in reducing tightness and inflammation in your body by tapping into the eccentric and concentric tension in your muscles. Eccentric muscle tension exists to allow you to lengthen your muscles, while concentric muscle tension allows your muscles to pull and shorten. Using a stretching rope, exercise band, or even a large beach towel, your chiropractor will apply pressure to your muscles, ask you to resist the pressure, and then instruct you to release your resistance. This pulling, resisting, and release pattern will increase the mobility, flexibility, and blood flow to your muscle groups, which can optimize your recovery between runs. ART is particularly effective for runners suffering from ailments like IT-band syndrome, achilles tendonitis, hamstring strains, and plantar fascitis. Having your chiropractor teach you ART can empower you to self-administer treatments between your appointments.