Our body’s overall structure can determine how we are able to enact locomotion and whether or not this process can lead to injury. When it comes to athletics specifically, the structure of our bodies can alter how we run. Some athletes have their feet turned inward in the front, which is known as being “pigeon-toed,” and this positioning can lead to negative musculoskeletal outcomes in the knees and hips. Other athletes have the tendency to hunch over when they run, positioning their heads and torsos in front of their hips and legs which can lead to problems in the lower backs and hips.
With this knowledge, one of the main questions that chiropractors and exercise physiologists face is whether or not to alter the way an athlete runs in an effort to prevent injury. In many scenarios, the answer to this question is a firm yes.
If an athlete is running with improper movements or if his or her body is structure in a way that is contributing to less than desirable range of motion, then alterations can be made to promote musculoskeletal health and to help the athlete avoid injury moving forward. In addition, pressure put on the knee joints can cause problems over time. The knees are the body’s shocks and need to be properly maintained.
The proper range of motion for running involves making strides in which the lead foot is hitting the ground directly beneath the pelvis, with the heel hitting the ground first and the rest of the foot rolling along the ground. The shoulders should be back, and the arms should be swinging in a straight line, with the finger tips moving towards the nose. So many athletes neglect these motions when running and they find themselves injured as a result.
Chiropractors can usually determine how an athlete’s running technique is contributing to injury and take steps to help athletes rework their running form. Proper alignment of the spine is helpful and so in some cases, all athletes may need is a spinal adjustment. Altogether, athletes need to be mindful of their running technique and chiropractic professionals can surely help them improve or change their technique to avoid injury.
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