In the US, we are experiencing an epidemic of obesity and there is growing awareness of its occurrence. For many people, running is the most common exercise they participate in to lose weight and get in shape. While running can be very beneficial for a person’s body, it can cause a lot of harm if a person does not have good form or has improper foot wear. We all know that running has many beneficial effects on the body such as: weight lose, decreasing stress/anxiety, lowering cholesterol, improving circulation and blood flow, increasing focus and brain function, and many more health benefits. But are there any negative aspects to running?

Research has shown that 40-50% of runners experience at least one injury a year. While running is good exercise, there are many common musculoskeletal injuries that can occur. Some of the most common injuries include: plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, iliotibial band syndrome, knee pain, hip pain and low back pain as well as others. Most of the time these injuries are caused by some underlying problem. When beginning a running program, it is important to have good running shoes that fit properly. Many times improper foot wear leads to poor mechanics when running, which causes instability in the foot resulting in injuries.

Another reason someone may have a higher risk of injury when running is due to improper form or misalignments in the body. Running is a high impact exercise that really stresses the joints in the body. Think of the body like a chain, where the joints in the body are the links of a chain. When a chain is pulled and stressed, the weakest link fails and the chain is compromised. If we have unstable joints in our bodies and we start running, eventually one of the joints/weakest links will fail to work and injury then occurs.

Doctors of Chiropractic are trained extensively to analyze the biomechanics of someone when they are walking or running. Doctors of Chiropractic can help alleviate pain and treat conditions associated with running, and most importantly help prevent these injuries before they happen. Running creates repetitive stress on the body and causes alignment issues that slowly start to develop. When they get bad enough, a person will start to experience pain. If our bodies had perfect alignment and stable joints, we would be able to cope with the stress of running. Nobody is perfect and that is why half the people who run experience pain or injury.

The best way to prevent injuries and pain when running is to get your biomechanics evaluated by a health professional who is trained in analyzing structure. Doctors of Chiropractic can help teach you the proper biomechanics and help maintain good alignment in the joints, which may reduce the risk of injury. Don’t wait until pain starts before getting evaluated, because biomechanical issues are often without symptoms in their early stages. Even though high blood pressure is often times silent, it is treated without symptoms because it can be a killer. Biomechanical problems are often silent which should be treated as well because they could result in a lifetime of chronic pain.

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