While I was driving around town this weekend, I noticed more and more runners are pounding the pavement while the summer heat slowly dwindles away. As fall moves in, it is time for our local athletes to lace up their shoes and head out to enjoy a much cooler workout. While our afternoons still tip the scales above 80 degrees, our mornings and evenings are providing an important respite to those looking to enhance their health through running.
With this influx of runners, I thought it important to mention an article I recently read on PlanetChiropractic.com. The article points out a number of facts about long-distance running and chiropractic care. The most important of those facts are as follows:
“An informal survey of Olympic athletes showed doctors of chiropractic to be the most popular of all healthcare providers. These super performers know that part of training ‘smart’ means maintaining an alignment that is absolutely necessary for high performance. There is a growing body of scientific research that proves chiropractic helps athletic agility, balance, reaction time and power.”
“Runners stand to benefit the most from chiropractic because of the grueling nature of the sport and its potentially detrimental effects on the joints of the foot, knees, and hips. Just like tires can wear out quickly on a poorly aligned front end of a car, the human body breaks down when it’s out of alignment. When this happens, it is called arthritis and can become permanent without care.”
Given the nature of running and the stress it places on the body, it is important to make sure that the body is given every tool available to both keep you properly aligned and ensure you can recover and heal properly before your next run. For anyone who has ever “overdone it” while trying to get back into their running regimen, you know the pain it can cause. The symptoms can continue to cause you grief until you give your body proper time to recover.
Chiropractic is an important tool in making sure your body is properly aligned. With each step of your morning run, you are placing up to three times the weight of your body on your spine, hip, leg, knee, and foot. Without proper alignment, your bones and muscles may not be able to minimize the force and vibration that each step brings to your internal framework, leaving you with soreness and possibly leading to more serious problems.
It is important to remember that our daily run is not over when we set foot back on our front porch. Well beyond the end of a run, your body is utilizing nervous system function to repair and restore the bones and muscles that were placed into action during your run. This important process can be hampered if your spinal bones are misaligned and it can place pressure on the nerves that are carrying vital messages to your body. This pressure can limit the function of those nerves traveling out of the spine from the spinal cord, reducing your ability to heal properly.
Chiropractic is a two-fold attack on problems that can develop within the body from high-stress activities. Not only does it help keep us in line to reduce the problems associated with an activity such as running, but it also allows us less downtime, since our body is free of hindrances that could slow down the healing process.
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