Monthly Archives: October 2013

7 Running Rules to Apply to Avoid Injury

If you want to gain long-term enjoyment in running, there are certain rules you need to follow to prevent injury or getting burnt out.

As a chiropractor, I often see patients come in with injuries that could have been prevented if the following rules were adhered to. Though some injuries are unavoidable, more often than not you can prepare yourself for a race or a fun run where you come away pain and injury-free. A long, rewarding running history can be yours by doing the following:

1. Do What Fits You

Running is supposed to be an activity characterized by freedom. There are no hard-knock rules in running if you stick to your own goals and not others’. You can simply stride off when you run, overrunning all others in your group, or simply take things slow, setting your own space and pace. The best thing to keep in mind is to focus on your endurance and previous training goals and not push yourself harder based on somebody else’s level.

2. Focus on Your Targeted Pace

Almost all fun runs or marathon races have crowded starting lines, so you can just imagine the competition. The important thing is to aim for a pace that fits you, and one that you’ve already worked with. This way, you are meeting the goal you set for yourself in the race. Often, you’ll find on race day that the endorphins kick your pace up a notch. To avoid overdoing it and burning out, or getting injured, ensure you stay near your set pace – sometimes allowing yourself to go a little over, but always staying in competition with yourself only.

3. Avoid Distractions While Running

There are many things that can distract a runner, especially on race day – other people or runners chatting, music from your iPod, or just spectator and scenery-watching while you run. Distractions can quickly lead to injury. Be aware of this for any race or new running terrain you’re on. Pay extra attention to your environment and always take notice of cracks or changing surfaces on your path.

4. No Pets While Running

Pets can be a hazard when running, especially during a large race or a fun run event. It is in fact discouraged by many event organizers, because it’s likely that they will block the way of the other runners and might even give them a trip or two. You can’t predict if a dog will get distracted or react differently to new people or a new environment. Keep your pet at home to avoid injury to yourself or others.

5. Take Extra Precautions

Several aid stations are located on both sides of the road during many races; however, it would be best to have an extra ounce of prevention to avoid possible accidents and injuries while running. If you feel like your body is hurting, not feeling like it usually does, or your energy is particularly low, adjust your pace down and know that this is the best thing you can do for yourself. While you love the feeling of beating your old time or reaching a record time, it’s not worth injuring yourself. There will be plenty of opportunities to run another day. You can’t always predict when your body will be “off” of normal, so it’s best to just roll with it and take it easy when your body tells you it hurts or is exhausted.

6. Stretch and then stretch again

Many people have come to resent the sometimes stagnant-feeling of stretching; however this one task can help prevent pain and injury tremendously. Make sure you stretch the large muscle groups such as your: calves, thighs, hamstrings (back of legs) and even your arms, before and after running. This can be as quick as taking 5 minutes to do; just do it and you’ll be better off than most.

7. Just Make it to the Finish Line

While a new record time looks like a bright, shiny reward that you want so badly, just appreciate that you’re doing what most people cannot or will not ever do. Learn to love yourself and all of the work and dedication you’ve made towards your sport and your health. You can do this by appreciating the finish line at any pace/time you arrive. Finish off what you began and still have your strong, healthy body, and injury-free at the end of the race. You’ll be so happy you did it this way and will be inspired to keep up at your sport, because of your success. Just make it to the finish line your way!

Many people find themselves getting hurt during race day. Don’t find yourself with injuries at the end of what could be a great day. Take these tips and stay true to your body and the reachable goals you set for yourself, and you’ll be at a great pace.

10 Days to Injury-Proof Your Ankles

Allentown Chiropractor helps ankle injuryWhen you get a lot of pain in your feet and ankles, or they seem to “crack” a lot, or you feel like your feet are clumsier than usual, you may be on your way to sustaining an injury to your ankles.

The cracking and clumsiness that you may experience means there is some instability and weakness in your ankle. This weakness makes you prone to injury. If an injury occurs, it will likely be a sprained ankle or pain from an accumulating change in your bones and tendons that can lead to heel spurs (abnormal bone growth that becomes painful at the bottom of your foot) or plantar fasciitis and bunions.

There’s an important and quick exercise and stretch routine you can get in the habit of practicing so you can develop strong, stable ankles. It works just as simply as brushing your teeth, in fact, you may be able to do this while brushing your teeth every day.

Here’s what you do for 10 days to strengthen your ankles:

Day 1– Do a 3 minute range of motion (ROM) exercise for your feet. Take your foot and point your toes to your head, then to the ground. Hold each stretch for 3 deep breathes. Then rotate your foot left and right as far as it will go (hold each side through 3 deep breathes). Then roll your foot in and roll your foot out (hold each side for 3 deep breathes). Take 20 minutes to research a good pair of closed-toe shoes with a low sole and good mobility at the mid-foot that you can wear every day. Good shoes will make all the difference for creating strong, comfortable feet.

Day 2– Do your 3 minute ROM exercise and schedule a time to try on the shoes you researched.

Day 3– Do the 3 minute ROM exercise. With your scheduled shoe fitting on the books, take some time to compare other shoe brands too.

Day 4– Do the 3 minute ROM exercise. Now add star-pattern lunges to strengthen your leg and foot muscles. While one foot stays in the same place on the ground and with your hands on your hips, take a big step forward with your other foot and bend down into a lunge. Do this pivoting in a circle, rotating clock-wise into 3 other directions until you get back to where you started. Try on the shoes you researched- buy them if they’re comfortable, and you like them.

Day 5– Do the 3 minute ROM exercise and the star-pattern lunges 5 times around. If you regularly wear sandals and slippers, research for a good pair that will support your feet. Make sure they will be secure on your feet, give some arch support, have a flat sole (no platforms), and have a comfortable and cushioned pad for your foot on the inside.

Day 6– Do the 3 minute ROM exercise and the star-pattern lunges 5 times around.  Schedule a time to try on the sandals or slippers you’ve researched.

Day 7– Do the 3 minute ROM exercise and the star-pattern lunges 10 times around. Remember, you’ve got a date for healthy feet when you’re going to try on those sandals you know you’ll wear all the time.

Day 8– Do the 3 minute ROM exercise and the star-pattern lunges 10 times around. Try on the sandals and slippers you researched – buy them if they’re comfortable and feel secure on your feet (like they will stay on without much effort).

Day 9– Do the 3 minute ROM exercise and the star-pattern lunges 10 times around. Are you wearing your shoes, sandals, or slippers and not going barefoot? If you are, that’s good. Make sure to rely more heavily on the shoes and sandals than the slippers. Your shoes are likely better made to support your feet, so you avoid pain or injury.

Day 10– Do the star-pattern lunges 10 times around and keep these exercises and stretches in your calendar, especially for next 11 days as doing anything for 21 days creates a new healthy habit. Start doing the 3 minute ROM exercises 2 times during the day, each time you brush your teeth. You’ll get extra brushing in too!

You may still have some cracking sounds coming from your ankle and feet joints from time to time, especially while they are adapting to your new shoes. This is your past joint fixations that are hard to clear out on your own. It’s important to take care of these right away so all the bones and joints above your feet and ankles aren’t in pain either.

We adjust our client’s feet and make the best shoe recommendations so your foot joints are moving free and comfortably much faster. If you have any questions or need help, contact us.

How to Get Relief from Burning Shoulder Pain: Especially for Cyclists

Chiropractor Allentown PA helps shoulder pain

A burning sensation in between the shoulders, numbness of the arms and hands, and tightness in the neck are common sensations among both recreational and competitive cyclists. This type of pain can be felt by many others as well.

You might be able to ignore the pain at first, but if the pain comes back repetitively, it can seriously interfere with both your enjoyment of your sport and your training progress.

How do you get relief from burning shoulder pain?

We often work with athletes, runners and active people. What we do best is help prevent injuries and even enhance speed, strength, and efficiency for athletes.

When we treat cyclists, we start by looking at the body holistically, because everything in cycling is interconnected – the nerves, the muscles, and the joints. In fact, if your physician or chiropractor doesn’t address all three of these issues at once, you are likely to continue to have the same recurring pain that may lead to a more severe or permanent injury.

Solutions to the problems cyclists’ experience, such as burning sensation in the shoulders, numbness of the arms and hands, and tightness in the neck may include:

• A combination of adjustments to allow the spine, adjacent bones, and joints to move well
• Deep tissue massage
• Electrical modalities that promote healing
• Kinesio taping to stop pain-causing muscle and joint inflammation

Also, appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises may be needed to address the weakness or tightness in the muscles that affect the pain in between your shoulders. Strengthening exercises will contribute stability to the joint, while stretching will help to lengthen the muscles in the region and prevent them from “spasming” when stressed.

Along with our help, it is absolutely essential that patients do their part to contribute to their recovery from cycling injuries and/or pain.
We can guide you towards pain-relief so you enjoy your sport. Are you training for something big coming up and feel the drag of body pain, stiffness, or old injuries returning? If so, we can help release your shoulders, hips, and back to better health.