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How chiropractic care can help runners

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Updated: 6/12 1:07 am

(BPT) - For those who are regular runners and in overall good shape, it may seem odd to consider chiropractic care, but taking care of yourself when you're healthy can be the best way to avoid future injuries. Gone are the days when chiropractic care was needed just for aches, injuries or pain. Many athletes are turning to chiropractic care on a regular basis to maintain optimal health and fitness.

If your body is perfectly and absolutely aligned, then you might be the most unique person on the planet. Almost no one has perfect alignment. Getting aligned and staying aligned allows your body to handle the hard pounding it takes when you run. The high impact of running can lead to long-term pain and injury if you continue to run without a properly aligned core.

Myriad issues are likely to occur for most people after years of running with poor alignment: pain in the feet, shoulders, lower back or even pinched nerves. In most instances, people don't seek chiropractic care until injuries begin, and by that time they require rehabilitation instead of injury prevention.

Dr. Christopher Lauer, LifeClinic chiropractor at Life Time - The Healthy Way of Life Company, has seen many runners come in for both injury prevention and injury care. 'The first thing we do with a patient is a thorough chiropractic examination, postural evaluation and functional examination,' Lauer says. 'Through these exams, we often find deficiencies or problems with biomechanics.'

Runners are particularly prone to posterior chain weakness or lower crossed syndrome, both of which require adjustments for long-term correction. 'Some of the most common injuries from running I see are overuse injuries including plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ankle sprains, knee pain and hip pain,' Lauer says. 'By being focused on function, and not necessarily pain, we can catch injuries before they happen and get an athlete back on track faster than if they have sustained one.'

Preventive chiropractic care offers runners many advantages. Joints can't flow through the full range of motion when misaligned and since runners rely heavily on their joints, preventive care can improve running experiences indefinitely.

Ways chiropractic care helps runners:
* Improved coordination
* Better reaction time
* Increased balance
* Heightened accuracy
* Amplified precision
* Stronger muscles

Chiropractors can perform a full evaluation on your current alignment, offer personalized adjustments and set you on a course of optimal athleticism. 'Depending on the condition of the individual, we also do rehabilitative therapy or posture correction to ensure a longer-lasting result from the care that we give.' Lauer says. 'We find people are much happier with this approach, which leads to stronger athletes and families.'

The running gear you choose (shoes, caps, tanks, socks, sunglasses, etc.) are meant for comfort and power - why not choose to comfort your body with regular visits to the chiropractor, too?

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