Total Health

Common Running Injuries & How Chiropractic May Help

September 1st, 2021 by
Category: Back pain Chiropractic Care Dr. Luke Vella Knee pain Sport

Running and its affect on the body

Often, the first goal a lot of people have when they want to increase their fitness levels, get moving or embark on a new fitness journey is get running. Most people only think of the positive impact that running has on the body, but tend to forget about the possible negative impact running may have on the body (keeping in mind the positive impact far outweighs the negative) when proper technique isn’t used, or poor/incorrect shoes are used.

Positive impacts of running

  • Increased fitness levels and aerobic endurance
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Improved heart/cardiovascular health
  • Strengthens the body’s core and lower body
  • Improved stress and focus levels
  • Improved sleep

Negative impacts of running

  • Overuse injuries
  • Muscle imbalances (lower and upper body)
  • Knee injuries
  • Low back pain

While running, you need to make sure that, one, you are using the correct running technique, and two, you are wearing the correct pair of shoes for your foot type. When these two responsibilities are not meet it can be common for your body to suffer, especially your low back, hips, knees, ankles and feet. There are quite a few common injuries that may occur in runners in those areas specified, which can either slow them down or force them to stop running altogether for an extended period:

Shin splints

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, or more commonly known as Shin Splints, is a condition commonly seen in runners due to overuse. Overuse conditions such as shin splints can occur when you have just intensified your training or have changed your training routine completely. This type of condition can be avoided by changing your training style or intensity slowly and gradually, instead of changing these factors quickly, as well as wearing runners which are suited for your own foot type and engaging in proper warmups and recovery.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome

Much like Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, Patellofemoral pain syndrome is most likely seen as an overuse condition, but also can occur via injury. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of the most common causes of knee pain and occurs when the cartilage in the knee becomes worn down or altered due to overuse or injury. Patellofemoral pain syndrome flairs up most while climbing stairs or engaging in squatting movements. Engaging in proper warmups, recovery and rest days will help prevent this type of condition.

ITB syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome, ITB syndrome for short, is a condition that occurs in runners – most commonly in long distance runners – due to  overuse, as the TFL muscle becomes tight and therefore causing the ITB to also tighten. This tightening leads to rubbing on the lower femur and upper tibia, thus causing pain between the hips and the knee. There are a few ways to help reduce your likelihood of developing ITB syndrome,  such as using runners suited specifically for you, warming up and cooling down properly and running on surfaces that are predominantly flat.

Low back pain

If you suffer from lower back pain while running, there may be a number of conditions causing these issues. Some of these are due to poor posture and biomechanics, and some are due to the repetitive strain of running. Low back pain while running can be due to:

  • Distal cross syndrome (poor low back posture/tight hip flexors and low back muscles with weak core and glutes)
  • Trigger points in the low back muscles
  • Poor biomechanics from the low back, down through the hips, knees, ankles, and feet
  • Facet joint dysfunction
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Some good ways to help avoid/prevent low back pain while running is to focus on strengthening up your core, warming up and cooling down properly, wearing good shoes suited to you and perfecting a running technique.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is another common overuse injury that runners may find themselves suffering from time and time again. This condition can be extremely painful and make it hard to run, let alone walk, as the connective tissue underneath the foot becomes inflamed between the heel and the toes. You may notice pain being worse in the morning as you wake up, thus you may find it difficult to get moving. A good way that you can help avoid developing plantar fasciitis is to wear good supportive shoes while you’re running, but also throughout the day.

group of women running on path, into the sunlight

Can Chiropractic help runners?

Overall, Chiropractic care may be able to help in both the prevention and also the treatment of the above conditions. Chiropractic may also help to keep the body’s biomechanics functioning in its optimal way. This not only means that your lower and upper body are aligned optimally, but also allowing the nervous system to function at its very best, allowing the correct messages to travel to your muscles, thus allowing your running technique to be optimal and free flowing. Chiropractic may help through:

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Total Health Chiropractic or any other health care professional for tailored advice.


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