Tag Archives: running

Racing and Feeling Great

Racing and Feeling Great

I love to run. But running can be challenging on the body and can lead to stubborn injuries that won’t disappear.  In the past, my running speeds were always determined by old injuries.  Whether a knee or a foot or a back.  This makes it frustrating to race as you always feel that you weren’t able to compete at your best.

Fortunately, I have a great team of health professionals in Mississauga that were able to help me race injury free!  The limiting factor in my most recent race, the Sulphur Springs Trail race, was my fuel and not a knee, foot, or my back!  Thank you to all those that helped me lead up to this race:

Our foot specialist Kiran helped me recover from a foot injury from a previous race in April.
Our Massage therapist Sandra helped me keep my ITB (IT band) moving well.
Our Naturopaths Kirsten and Tiffany helped me with my recovery times!
My Chiropractors kept my spine and nerves on point and recovering quickly!
And my family, for allowing me to run during nap time!

At this trail race in Ancaster, there were people running this 20 Km loop 4 times, 8 times, and 16 times!  The amount of effort that this required is incredible and it was impressive to run on the course with them.  As you can imagine, healing time is incredibly important for the training and racing for these competitors.

If you are competing or racing in Mississauga and need a team of health professionals to compete at your best, we are here to help!

Looking forward to the next race,

Dr. Callum Peever

New Orthotics

Changing Your Running Gait Chiropractor’s Perspective

A chiropractic patient of mine in Mississauga knows that I love to run and work with runners so she often brings me in great running articles from the newspaper to read.  She recently brought one in to my Chiropractic office during one of her appointments titled, “Learn to change your gait”.  It was great to see that the article highlighted information from one of my Chiropractic colleagues from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto – Dr. Kris Sheppard.  The article highlighted 4 tips to change your running gait and I have added my thoughts from a sports Chiropractic perspective.

The tips  to change your running gait were:

1. “Have someone film you run. See if your feet roll in or out and where they land relative to your mid-line”

This is easily done now with a treadmill and a friend with a smart phone.  Look for symmetry in your running gait at both your feet, knees, legs, hips, and arms.  It is quite easy to spot a poor running gait that can lead to a running injury if you take the time to look.  Also pay attention to how hard your feet hit the ground, and how they hit the ground – which another Globe and Mail article titled, “Watch how your foot lands while running,” discussed.

A Chiropractic exam is another great way to see how your body moves and functions.  When I analyse patients through Chiropractic tests I am able to see how their body mechanics are moving and where they are restricted.  The restricted biomechanics that are impacting the body’s function are called a vertebral subluxation, and can be a reason why a person has a particular running gait.

2. “As you run, pick your foot up above your opposite ankle every time you bring your leg forward. Pick up your knees, as if you are marching. The faster you are running, the higher the march”

I constantly play with different gait games such as the one mentioned above.  The one I enjoy the most is moving my head slightly forward to its position during my usual running gait.  This changes the mechanics of my running to the point that the joints and muscles are loaded and used differently.

3. “Try this drill: briefly run with your hands on your head, then bring your arms down and quickly pump them and then run normally.  Your running gait will improve as your upper body form improves.”

Don’t only focus on your feet and legs during your running.  It is important to change your focus regularly to ensure that your running gait is effective from head to toe.  As is mentioned in point 3, your upper body motion greatly impacts how well you will run – don’t ignore it.

4. “Avoid injuries by phasing in your new running style slowly. Start by attempting your new gait for the first 30 seconds of every five- minute chunk of running.”

Definitely don’t try something new and overdo it.  Your body has an amazing ability to adapt thanks to the nervous system, but it needs time to learn and re-wire.  The structures need time to adapt to the new challenges as well.  And in order to avoid running injuries, you have to listen and respect your body!

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New Orthotics

Foot Placement When Running Chiropractic Perspective

Foot placement discussed from a Chiropractic perspective

One of my Chiropractic patients in Mississauga wanted to share with me a Globe and Mail article titled, “Watch how your foot lands while running,” as she knows that I love to run and work with runners.  The article discussed new running research on foot placement when running.

Of note was that the foot placement when running changed in runners throughout their run, depending on speed, exhaustion, and terrain.  The professional trail runner that they monitored in the Giandolini study, Kilian Jornet Burgada, changed his foot placement regularly throughout the 20km of the 40 km running race that they monitored. I notice that I often change my foot placement and running gait as well depending on my speed, exhaustion, and terrain.

From a Chiropractic perspective

From a sports Chiropractic perspective this makes sense in order to create a running gait that maximizes efficiency, reduces potential injury, and allows the body to change the repetitive load that it is experiencing.

While you are running I would encourage you to spend time focusing on how you place your foot and where you place your foot, and then listen to your body as it adapts.  By listening to your body during the times that you are modifying your running gait you can improve your running efficiency and avoid running injuries.

Some pictures to demonstrate the impact of a collapsed foot on the knee:

proper knee bend
proper knee bend
Improper Knee Bend
improper knee bend demonstrated
New Orthotics

Sideline Running Injuries With Chiropractic

Running Injuries

Runners have the tendency to allow their running injuries to build up over time until they become serious and take them out of the sport. Sideline running injuries with sports Chiropractic care. When we adjust patients mechanics throughout their training we can keep them reaching towards their running goals. Regular Chiropractic adjustments to the spine and nerve system allows the body to recover quicker as well, naturally.

Your body has an amazing ability to adapt which a runner can identify with being able to run further and faster over time. In order to accomplish this the body needs repetition, perseverance, and time to change and to meet your running demands and goals. If your body running mechanics are off even slightly, the compounding impact will start to take shape as the miles are added up. These mechanical faults may not be noticed when not running, but when looking for performance from your body over many miles they will start to impact you.  The impact on your running can be in speed, distance, efficiency, or injury.

Spine

Subluxations in the spine, nerve system, and pelvis are common hindering factors to running injuries and performance. Chiropractors are specially trained to identify and adjust subluxations in your spine and nerve system. All too often, a person’s running goals will be put aside due to injury. Being sidelined because of injury could have been avoided if they had just addressed subluxations in their spine and nerve system throughout their training.

Sacroiliac Joints

A common subluxation which impacts runners is in the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis. These joints connect the sacrum with the ilium and make up the pelvis. There is only a few degrees of motion at these joints, but if that small amount of movement is lost, restricted, or subluxated – running and healing performance is greatly decreased. Fortunately, Chiropractors are experts at treating this common running problem and can even identify it before a runner is forced to stop running because of pain.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are characterized by pain along the front / side of the lower leg and are usually developed through pushing your legs beyond what they are ready for with improper biomechanics in poor shoes. We talked about the body having an amazing ability to adapt earlier. If you push your body beyond what it is capable, it will stop you dead in your tracks with an injury like shin splints. This injury will sideline you as it becomes increasingly painful. Address this running injury prior to it occurring by:

  • Working with a Chiropractor on the biomechanics of your spine, pelvis, legs, and feet.
  • Get proper running shoes for the running you are doing.
  • Work with a foot specialist like a Chiropodist to get orthotics specially made to support your foot mechanics.
  • Stretch your lower leg muscles when you are warmed up

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is essentially wear and tear throughout time on your joints. This can happen to any joint in the body. With runners we tend to see this occur through the knees and hips. Just because you are a runner does not mean you will get osteoarthritis. Actually, running can help minimize your chance of getting osteoarthritis. It is my opinion that there are many factors that will contribute to potentially running into osteoarthritis. These include:

  • major injuries to the joint
  • improper body mechanics or biomechanics
  • not appreciating the time needed to heal through an injury
  • not appreciating the time needed to recover from training
  • and diet.

If you are a runner, you must appreciate your body and address the above points if you want to run long into your life.  Nothing can be done to change an injury in the past that has happened to your joints. But through Chiropractic care an incredible amount of good can be done to improve and address your biomechanics and running mechanics.  Some of these things include:

  • regular Chiropractic check ups and adjustments to address the mechanical and neurological faults in your spine, pelvis, and legs (subluxations)
  • one legged squats to fine tune your muscle control focusing on your foot, knee, and hip. These can be done in many different ways. For my chiropractic patients I teach them to make this a habit throughout their daily routines so that they are always improving their running mechanics. These can be done statically where no one would even notice you were practicing them if they saw you. But they can also be done with more intensity through jumping and landing on one leg to bending lower on the one leg. Remember that the focus is more on the mechanics of the movement than it is on the strength.
  • Lunges also can help you practice your running mechanics. Remember to focus on the direction the knee is moving but to impact it you will need to address your foot and hip positioning.
  • proper footwear with the help of a chiropodist to address and mechanical concerns through your foot, knee, hip, spine mechanics. This may include orthotics or maybe you just need a new pair of shoes. Remember that shoes do wear out! It is easier to replace them than your joints!

An important thing to know is that osteoarthritis impacts people differently and can affect you differently daily as well. Once you are aware that you have osteoarthritis, you must realize that just because there is no pain, does not mean that the problem is gone. Pain is an indicator to take action on your health, but is not the only indicator. By addressing your joint health through chiropractic care you can get the most out of your body well into the future. Proper maintenance will extend the life of your joints and allow you to accomplish more with your body.

Make Us Your Running Partners!

Your Chiropractor may not be able to run alongside you every mile, but that doesn’t mean the two of you can’t still be team!

Call our office today to schedule a full physical and learn how Chiropractic care can keep your body running at peak performance while avoiding being sidelined from your running injuries.

Dr. Callum Peever

picture from skeeze / Pixabay