Common running in injuries, by Alexander Smith, Chiropractor in Sudbury
19th July 2017
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Many people mistakenly believe that chiropractic is just for spinal conditions alone. The training that chiropractors undergo includes many hours spent studying the muscles of the extremities and learning about conditions that can occur throughout the body and acquiring skills to promote healing in these joints and muscles.


It is often asked how chiropractic can be helpful for runners. This is a question that is answered best when one learns a little about the wider picture of chiropractic healing. In short, Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the spine, joints and muscles. There is no drugs or surgery, the chiropractor will first of all do a physical examination and create a treatment plan, based on his findings. After this he will use his hands to restore proper motion to the area of dysfunction.


Chiropractic is a holistic therapy meaning that the human body is examined as an interconnected entity, not just parts in isolation. Let’s say for example that you have developed a painful knee that comes on half way through your run. The practitioner will examine your knee, of course, but will also look at your gait, your ankles, hips, pelvis joints and the joints of your spine. Posture can also be a component that the chiropractor will examine. Long term, you may be recommended to undertake an exercise program, wear insoles to correct gait abnormalities and consider changes to your diet.


Regarding running injuries, the chiropractor’s office encounters two main types; the acute trauma and the overuse injury. The acute trauma is sudden, such as a torn ligament or a broken bone. The most frequently encountered problem, however is caused by overuse. Below are some descriptions of common injuries that affect runners who come to the chiropractor’s office.


Plantar Fasciitis

Cause: This is caused by stretching or tearing of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot where the tissue attaches to the heel and causes pain in a specific area on the bottom of the foot towards the heel, possibly radiating towards the ball of the foot.

Pain: The foot feels tender early in the morning and becomes less painful with movement.


Bursitis or Tendonitis

Cause: This is irritation of the bursa (a fluid filled sac which sits under the tendon) or tendons from friction, pressure, trauma or dysfunction.


Achilles Tendonitis

Cause: The Achilles tendon is the connection between the heel and one of the most powerful muscle groups in the body, the calf. This is a very common site for a disabling injury. The biggest contributor to chronic Achilles tendonitis is ignoring pain in your Achilles tendon and running through the pain.

Pain: If your Achilles tendon is getting sore, it is time to pay attention to it immediately  


Shin Splints

Cause: Shin splints result from faulty posture, poor shoes, fallen arches, insufficient warm-up, muscle fatigue, exercising on hard surfaces or poor running mechanics.

Pain: pain or discomfort on the front, the inside/or the outside of the shin bone or directly on the shin bone.


Stress Fractures

Cause: These small fractures occur due to excessive stress (overuse of the bone) or an increase in intensity or distance running, resulting in gradual breakdown of the bone. Pain: occurs especially in the foot and lower leg, becoming more intense with weight bearing activity. X-rays appear negative initially but fractures become visible up to two weeks after the initial injury.


Runners Knee

Cause: This is essentially softening of the cartilage of the knee cap. Portions of the cartilage may then be under either too much or too little pressure. This may result in cartilage deterioration at the inner part of the knee cap.

Pain: Usually also felt after sitting for a long period of time with the knees bent.


Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Cause: Often seen in runners who train only on a track or on uneven ground.

Pain: This is pain or aching on the outer side of the knee and usually happens in the middle or at the end of a run.


Dr Alex offers a no charge appointment “a free spinal check” where you can meet with him to discuss your symptoms and have some spinal and postural tests performed to see if chiropractic can help. He works from Zest Gym, in Sudbury. Please give him a call on  01787 207107 to make an appointment.


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Penny W

Member since: 17th March 2014

Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens

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