Iron Man: Perks of Chiropractic Adjustments for Runners,
Swimmers & Cyclers
The Ironman Triathlon boasts that you can, “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life” (En.wikipedia.org, 2017). In 1977 on Oahu, the idea was hatched when an old, familiar argument arose between competitors of several different triathlons about who was considered the most fit. Some sited studies about one event or another, while one man, U.S. Navy Commander John Collins, suggested they build a triathlon to test fitness between runners, swimmers, and cyclists. And so, the Ironman Triathlon was born, and gathering upwards of 50 participants its first year in 1979, the first set of Ironmen and women were established.
Every athlete takes care that their bikes, goggles, and running shoes are in top shape, best they can buy, and ready for anything that the course may throw at them. They train year-round to participate, and hopefully become an Ironman. Their food intake, their workouts, their activity is carefully tailored to tune their bodies to peak performance. With all this careful planning, training, and maintenance, one factor that could make a big difference is overlooked: Chiropractic health.
A common misconception of chiropractic care is that chiropractors simply “crack your back”. In reality, they can do so much more than that. There are sports chiropractors trained in the Active Release Technique, who use their skills to help optimize athletic performance and prevent injury. This is why we always see sports chiropractors on professional sports and Olympic teams.
Runners in particular are prone to such injuries as plantar fasciitis, IT Band Syndrome, and improper patella tracking. These are caused when there is improper alignment of the spine and/or pelvis causing unequal weight distribution during an activity. With a repetitive motion such as running, having proper alignment of your spine and hips is vital to prevent pain and injury. A running chiropractor near Mesa can not only align the spine and pelvis properly, but they can adjust knee and ankle joints, and even the smaller joints in your feet and toes.
In addition to regular Mesa chiropractic care, it is recommended that you change up your running surfaces a few times a week so that you come to run more naturally on different surfaces. Make sure to find the flattest part of the surface to run on. For example, run closest to the water when on the beach, or almost anywhere in our beautiful, Arizona deserts. Make sure to replace your shoes every few hundred miles, and while you’re at it, buy two of the same type of shoe, trading them out every few running days.
If you work in a job where you sit for long periods of time, make sure to adjust your posture at least every 30 minutes so your muscles don’t become stiff in one position. Always stretch and warm up before you run. Sometimes we think we don’t need to warm up and wake those muscles up, or we run out of time for a cool down, but these steps are very important. Ask your running chiropractor near Mesa for some suggestions on dynamic stretching to assist in athletic injury prevention.
Swimming, although wonderful for cardiovascular health, is particularly hard on shoulders, thus the term “Swimmer’s Shoulder”. The repetitive motion puts stress on the tendons and ligaments, which can cause inflammation. Besides the repetitive motion inside the joint, other factors can either help or hurt the condition. Poor posture and spinal misalignment are both culprits. Improper posture can lessen the amount of room that the joint has to properly move in, causing impingement, increasing inflammation. The same is true for spinal misalignment. If your spine is not properly stacked and aligned, unequal pressure can be put on every joint from the hips, to the knees, all the way back up to the shoulders. Think of your body as a unit, a machine of sorts. If one part is out of place, or not moving properly, the whole machine will suffer for it.
Just as it is suggested for runners to avoid sitting in one position for too long, the same goes for swimmers. Allowing your muscles to stiffen will likely cause decreased mobility, at least in the short term, and if you already have an injury, it could worsen it. It is best, no matter your sport of choice, to make sure to prevent muscle stiffness and make sure to move and adjust every so often. Make sure to talk to a swimmer chiropractor near Mesa to further discuss how to best prevent and/or treat swimming related injuries.
Cycling is hard on all the major joints. Pain and/or injury can occur to the neck, back, knees, wrist, hands, ligaments and shoulders. Cyclists sit for long distances, putting pressure and stress on their pelvis, wrists, shoulders, and on and on. Keeping these joints, along with the entire spine, aligned properly will allow your body to move more efficiently, allowing equal pressure to be distributed throughout your body. Just as the body of your bike needs to be straight to work properly, so does your spine. Using regular chiropractic care from a cycling chiropractor near Mesa can help relieve pain naturally from an already existing injury, or even offer injury prevention.
Ironman participants put their bodies through an awful lot during training and during the actual triathlon. Every athlete would benefit greatly from a chiropractor with expertise specific to each event. Fortunately, BodyWorkz offers chiropractic care for all the aforementioned athletes here in Arizona. We also offer massage and acupuncture, two holistic and natural ways to not only treat existing injuries, but to keep your body tuned and in its best working condition. Let us help prepare your body for whatever goals the athlete in you has set.