By Dr. Jon DeGorter, DC
Jonas Chiropractic Sports Injury Care
According to research almost 80% of runners experience injuries at least once every year. That’s eight in every ten runners that get hurt annually. Aches and pains come with any sport, but due to its high-impact, repetitive nature running tends to incur more than most. What causes most running injuries? The injuries vary, but the cause is mostly due to two things.
Muscle imbalance occurs when overused muscles become stronger than less active muscles around them, including the muscles that work together while running. The stronger muscles overcompensate for the weaker ones. When the weaker muscles can’t match the strength and endurance of the stronger ones, they fatigue more easily and causing the stronger muscles to work harder. Over time, these muscles wear down and develop overuse injuries. Muscle imbalance can also result in postural misalignment, causing aches and pains, and further injury.
Over-training is when your body cannot recover from training, to the point where performance declines. Pushing too hard, too fast — when your fitness level is more advanced than your current structural condition — doesn’t give your body time to adjust and adapt. Instead of getting stronger, you are breaking your body down.
Over training can be caused by:
As runners we know there’s no guarantee against getting injured, but there are some things we can do to steer clear of the most common running injuries.
Increasing your speed or distance often leads to an injury. The more gradual the increase, the less likely you will suffer injuries. As obvious as that sounds, many runners fail to do this time and time again.
Give your body time to adapt to longer or faster running by gradually increasing speed and/or distance. It’s important to remember that even though you’ve built up your endurance and aerobic ability, you need to ease your way into it gently so you can build muscular readiness without threatening your joints health.
Rest is a crucial factor in recovery, allowing time for your body to adjust and repair the strain from your workouts. Skipping rest days or running too regularly doesn’t allow your body sufficient time to recover and repair. Including slower easy runs into your routine will give your body the chance to recover from the stress. But make sure it’s really an easy run. Many runners feel they can do more and push the easy run into a more moderate or even faster pace than necessary.
Whether you’re an experienced runner or just starting out, if you are suffering from frequent aches and pains, or a nagging injury that never fully heals, it is worth getting checked out. This is especially effective if you are just starting out. When you start a new running routine or regimen, see a sports injury professional to identify potential musculoskeletal and balance issues that may contribute to injury.
Active Release Technique® and Graston Technique are two highly effective methods for treating soft-tissue injury, and preventing formation of adhesions and scar tissue to help prevent future injury. Active Release Technique® stimulates repair and accelerates healing by restoring normal tissue texture and reestablishing full flexibility, balance and stability. What makes ART® different from physical therapy and other treatments is how it identifies and heals scar tissue adhesions that are interfering with normal strength and flexibility with precise, targeted movements, not simply stretching out the muscles. ART® is completely natural and non-invasive and can prevent the need for more invasive treatment.
At Jonas Chiropractic Sports Injury Care you receive a personal treatment plan geared to your training and recovery goals. As trained ART® providers we pinpoint the problem area and the underlying cause contributing to pain and injury. We are dedicated to keeping up with the most effective procedures that provide significant positive results, which include stretching, strengthening, manipulation, cardiovascular exercise, and other modalities to thoroughly cover all bases. Our multidisciplinary approach leaves no stone unturned. Our approach is as unique as you are.
Dr. Jon DeGorter is the USATF-Long Island Chair of the Sports Medicine Committee, and part of the Jonas Chiropractic Sports Injury Care team. Dr. Jon specializes in treating runners and triathletes — keeping athletes doing what they love to do.