The last thing any runner wants is to be sidelined from an injury. Luckily there are ways to stay injury free and decrease your chances of needing to take an unexpected time out from training.
Make sure you have the right shoes for your feet
It is worth getting your running shoes from a running store where they have the knowledge to assist you in finding a shoe that is right for your foot. Having a shoe that fits well will not only help prevent injuries, but will likely allow you to enjoy your runs more. Depending on how often you are running, you may want to consider rotating between two pairs of running shoes as it takes about 24 hours for shoes to fully bounce back after a run. Alternating shoes can help avoid muscular imbalances by slightly varying how stress is distributed throughout the body. It is also worth getting an assessment for orthotics as they can help with common issues such as overpronation to further prevent injuries and add comfort to your running. If you are interested in getting assessed for orthotics, Dr. Barone is able to perform a gait scan to determine your need for them.
Increase Mileage and Intensity Gradually
Most injuries are caused by overuse. It can be tempting to increase training load in hopes of further improving fitness, but with this comes a significant risk of injury. The body needs time to adapt to increased stress placed on it. When making changes to the amount of running you are doing, make sure that you are increasing exclusively intensity or volume. Changing both of these factors simultaneously is where you are going to run into problems. Another thing to be mindful of is the magnitude and frequency at which intensity or volume is increased. This is an area that is highly debated and will vary among runners depending on factors such as running experience and injury threshold.
The equilibrium method developed by Jack Daniels is well formulated to prevent injuries. The equilibrium method works so that mileage is increased every 3-4 weeks and then kept constant, allowing the body to adapt to the added stress. The amount you increase your mileage by will depend on your current mileage as well as how your body is handling your present training load. At the end of the day, being conservative with increases in mileage will allow you to stay consistent with your training. Consistency is going to achieve better long term results than being forced to take gaps in training due to injuries. Listening to your body is the best thing you can do to avoid over training and injuries.
Keep it interesting
Running can be repetitive and hard on the body. It is a good idea to keep things varied in your training by running at a variety of paces. In addition, try to run on multiple training surfaces and rotate between different routes to ensure that your body is not repeatedly experiencing the same forces. You can also mix up your training by incorporating hills into your routine in order to build strength and change the muscle groups that are being worked. It is important to engage in activities other than running in order to stay injury free. Cross training should be incorporated into your training plan at least once per week. It is best to choose low impact activities such as swimming or cycling. This will help you continue to improve your fitness while allowing your body to recover from the impact of running. Cross training is also a good tool to use in order to avoid burnout.
The importance of strength for runners cannot be emphasized enough. With adequate strength comes better form and a greater ability to produce force. As a result, you will likely be capable of running faster. Developing strength is also a great way to prevent injuries. Improving strength can be achieved by weight training or performing body weight exercises. Yoga is also a great option, as it will improve both strength and flexibility. Core strength in particular is important for runners in order to maintain proper form. Ensuring that you are strengthening all muscle groups will help prevent muscular imbalances and injuries.
Allowing time for proper recovery is vital to staying injury free and allowing your body to reap in the benefits of training. It is during recovery that training adaptations occur, so not allowing enough time to rest can leave you stuck in an over training zone. Taking days off from training are important in order to properly recover. On top of rest days, the majority of your runs should be at a controlled and comfortable pace with harder efforts spread throughout the week. This will allow you to feel energized each workout and ready to put in a solid effort. During recovery time between workouts, techniques such as foam rolling and stretching should be implemented. Regular massage or chiropractic care can also be beneficial to the prevention of injuries.
Recovery becomes of utmost importance during the racing season. During this time your training plan has ideally allowed you to reach your peak fitness, and your focus can switch to feeling ready to perform at your best. During racing season, tapering by decreasing your training load is a smart move in order to stay healthy. As well, taking time off from training altogether is necessary from time to time in order to recover from long periods of consistent training. It is best to take time off at the end of racing season for at least one week. This will allow you to focus on other things in your life that you enjoy and come back with a greater appreciation for running.
Adopting as many of these techniques into your training routine as you can will likely reduce your risk of injury and allow you to perform better. As you become more experienced as a runner, you will find what works for you and be able to recognize when you are pushing yourself too hard.
Written by Fiona Brown, Chiropractic Technical Assistant at NewPort Village Chiropractic
Fiona joined the team at NewPort Village Chiropractic in September 2017 as the Chiropractic Technical Assistant. She is a third year co-op student from the University of British Columbia studying Kinesiology. Health and wellness are important aspects of her life and she hopes to inspire patients at the clinic to adopt these same values. Fiona’s hobbies include outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and skiing. You can often find her running as she is a competitive track athlete specializing in the 800m and 1500m distances. She previously trained with the UBC Track and Cross Country Team from 2015-2017 and is currently a member of Coastal Track Club in Surrey, BC. Fiona aspires to a career in health care upon the completion of her education.
Sometimes it starts gradually, sometimes suddenly. You describe a pain in your “hip”, “butt” “low back.” The pain radiates all around the front and back of your hip, and sometimes it tingles down the leg. Many people call it “sciatica.” It is often affectionately called “Piriformis Syndrome,” after a single tiny muscle in the butt that sometimes pinches the sciatic nerve.
My colleague Clayton Roach ingeniously describes piriformis syndrome as “the pain you can’t explain.”. Despite it’s mysterious demeanour, it is one of the most common issues I see in practice. It is common because many of us exercise, then we sit to much. The pressure of sitting decreases oxygen flow in the muscles, making them less likely to heal.
Who Gets Piriformis Syndrome?
If you are a hiker, cyclist, runner or weight lifter who also drives or sits at a desk all day, you are a prime candidate for this.
Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.)
ART is a system of diagnosis and treatment that isolates structures, improves fluidity of movement, and improves texture. An ART practitioner will be able to identify not only the affected muscles (piriformis, gluteus medium/maximus, gamelli, etc), but provide immediate treatment to fix the problem, sometimes permanently.
An ART practitioner certified in Nerve Entrapment will also be able to recognize non-piriformis related entrapment. Muscles other than the piriformis can also entrap the sciatic nerve.
Lastly, remember that the nervous system is the master controller of your body. Chiropractic care removes interference in the nervous system, and enhances your posture, muscle coordination and healing
We offer class 4 laser therapy to accelerate the healing process and decrease pain and inflammation. It is a great addition that gets you back to normal as quickly as possible.
What To Do?
If you are ready to take action, for you or someone you love, schedule an initial visit with our office. We really look forward to guiding you toward greater health and wellness with chiropractic care.
You get out of bed and your feet are killing you. You can hardly walk! As you walk it gets a little better, but your feet are still painful to touch, especially near the heel. Oh my gosh, you have plantar fasciitis!
Its primary causes is pronation (collapse) of the arches of the foot. Eighty percent of people pronate, because we wear shoes and walk on hard surfaces, making our feet weak.
What do i do?
Research has indicated, and we have found in our experience, that orthotics are essential if you want to correct the problem long-term!. Once you start wearing orthotics, it will take a while (several months, at least) for your muscles to strengthen enough for the pain to go away for sure.
Chiropractic adjustments and treatments like Active Release Techniques, Graston Technique and Deep Tissue Laser work really well to create healing. you’ll get great results with anywhere from 6-20 super awesome visits to our office.
You start to run and your shins kill, but it stops after a bit more running. You have shin splints!
A combination of over-use and misalignment at the ankles (and even the hips) causes muscles called the tibialis posterior, and tibias anterior to scar, then stick to the bone, creating painful friction. When you run for a little bit, the friction decreases, and so does the pain. In what seems like a bit of a sick mind game, the pain comes back a little while after you stop running. Before you know it, you can hardly walk without your legs throbbing.
What do I do?
80% of people have what is called pronation, a misalignment of the foot and ankle that can lead to shin splints. If you wear shoes and walk on hard ground, you probably pronate. Shoes make our foot muscles weak, and hard ground is, well, hard. When this happens, your ankles change angles, and you bang, you get shin splints when you run.
We can do a computerized gait analysis for you for $20 (it is free if you buy orthotics, or if I make it part of your program). In some cases I will even take you outside and watch you run to check your form.
If you pronate, orthotics will be essential if you want to correct the ankle misalignment long term. Once you start wearing them, it will take several months (at least) for the orthotics to create enough strength and coordination in your body for the pain to go away.
Chiropractic adjustments (to the spine and the ankle) and treatments like Active Release Techniques, Graston Technique, and Deep Tissue Laser work really well to create healing. This improves the speed of healing significantly.
You’ll get great results with anywhere from 6-20 super awesome visits in our office.
The Vancouver Rock and Roll Half Marathon is coming up this weekend, and we couldn’t be more excited by such a cool event. Did you know about the special relationship between music and running?
There is much research that supports the performance-boosting properties of music. Music can increase your motivation and your mood, two factors that play a huge part in increasing your running performance.
A study by Judy Edworthy and Hannah Waring found that runners who listen louder and faster music will take on faster running tempos. Compared to no-music condition, participants listening to fast and loud music ran harder for the same amount of perceived exertion. This means that though both groups thought they were running hard, those who were listening to music ran faster.
Many running races, including the Rock and Roll Half Marathon, take advantage of these benefits by having live bands perform throughout the race course. A pumped up atmosphere puts you in the right mindset to set a new personal best!
So keep your headphones out, and good luck this weekend!
What else can I do to improve my performance?
Having a proper warm-up and cool-down routine with stretching is key for injury prevention.
Wear proper footwear, and replace your shoes when they are worn down.
Cross-train and do other types of physical activity (such as tennis) to prevent muscle overuse injuries.
Many runners also find chiropractic to be an asset to their performance. Running on hard surfaces can create imbalances in the body caused by the forceful impacts. Chiropractic care can help with range of motion, injury prevention, and injury recovery by identifying those imbalances and keeping your body in proper alignment. Your chiropractor can also assist with fitting customized orthotics when necessary to improve your biomechanical function. Regular chiropractic care can help minimize the time you spend in recovery, and increase the time you spend doing the things you love.
A study entitled “The Influence of Pelvic Adjustment on Vertical Jump Height in Female University Students with Functional Leg-Length Inequality” aimed to investigate the effect of pelvic adjustment on vertical jump height (VJH) in female university students with functional leg length inequality (FLLI). as published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.
Thirty female university students with FLLI were divided into a pelvic adjustment group (15 people) and a stretching (control) group (15 people). VJH was measured using an OptoGait. After the intervention, jump height improved significantly compared with the pre-intervention height only in the pelvic adjustment group, while FLLI showed statistically significant improvement in both groups.
This means that although stretching improved alignment of the postural muscles in the pelvis, it did not improve performance.
The pelvis, a structure located between the hip joint and the lumbosacral spine and attached to several muscles, regulates the movement of the hip joint and lumbosacral spine. The position of the pelvis is the most critical factor determining the sagittal alignment and posture of the human body. Only when the pelvis is in the neutral position can be in the right posture, move the upper and lower body in the dynamic posture, and improve daily movements and ambulatory ability.
Vertical jumping is practiced to enhance the muscular strength and endurance of the leg and serves as a barometer of muscular strength. In the pre- and post-intervention comparison, VJH improved significantly only in the adjustment group, while FLLI improved significantly in both the adjustment group and the stretching group. When comparing the pre-intervention data, post-intervention data, and changes between the pre- and post-intervention data, VJH showed statistical significance only for the changes between the pre-and post-intervention data, while FLLI showed statistical significance for post-intervention data and changes between the pre- and post-intervention data
The results suggest that chiropractic care, specifically pelvic subluxation reduction, might be responsible an increase in vertical jump height. This is one more addition to the many examples of how chiropractic can improve sport performance.
Subluxations are manifestations of stress that creates interruption in the nervous system. The result is poorer coordination, misalignment, and tight or weak musculature. Chiropractic to remove subluxations is an excellent way to improve performance and overall health.