How well you run and how enjoyable running is for you depends on how well you care for yourself. This includes what you eat, how you sleep, and all of your health habits. Clearly a strong stable body is key. Routine chiropractic care, before an injury happens, should be part of maintaining your running machine.
Any physical performance, including running, depends on the body being aligned for the best possible result. Everyone experiences misalignment over time simply through daily living. For a runner, the importance of these misalignments are magnified by the repetitive force applied through the feet and transmitted up the body. Additionally, running can train some groups of muscles more than counterbalancing muscles, which can cause further exacerbation of misalignments.
A negative loop can set in. Running may cause unbalanced development, which aggravates misalignments. Misalignments cause more underlying dysfunction. A lack of comfort causes the runner to shy away from helpful stretching. As this cycle continues, it is not uncommon for highly fit amateur runners to be fairly stiff and inflexible.
Chiropractors will start with an assessment. For a runner, this can be valuable in and of itself since it can provide guidance on muscular development. For example, many runners commonly experience posterior chain weakness. This is simply the muscles from the lower back through the calf on the back of the leg being less developed than the muscles in the front of the leg. This condition can lead to joint problems and for a serious amateur runner can result in decreased performance.
After an assessment, a chiropractor can develop a treatment and tune up plan. The goal of the plan will be coordinated with the patient. The goal can be to improve comfort, to correct a condition that may be leading to true dysfunction or even to improve performance. The key is that the patient is fully aware of what is happening with the body.
Running has great health benefits but can be stressful on the body. Regular chiropractic care can be an important tool to keep runners strong and in good health.