Chiropractors do not simply “crack” joints, contrary to popular belief. According to Scott Duke, D.C, owner of Duke Chiropractic in New York City, this misconception is commonly perpetrated.
“Sports chiropractors who are trained in muscle work, such as Active Release Technique (ART) and Graston, are probably the best manual therapists for preventing injury and optimizing performance,” says Duke. He also adds, “That’s why there’s always a sports chiropractor on Olympic and professional sports teams.”
Chiropratic can be extremely effective for runners as they can be used for injury prevention. Chiropractic emphasizes proper alignment of the spine and pelvis. Duke notices that the most common running-related injury that he sees in his patients ranges from recreational runners to Olympians and New York City Marathon winners are plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis. IT Band Syndrome and hip bursitis.
According to Duke, the first step to treat these injuries are to search for misalignment. “Malalignment of the spine can cause unnecessary tension on one particular body part versus an equal distribution of pressure,” he says. “I can’t take care of anyone’s chronic IT band problem without making sure their pelvis is in as perfect alignment as it can be. Otherwise, it’ll continue to wear, tear, and put strain on that one particular body part.”
Additionally, Duke adds that “”There’s a lot that contributes to improper spine or pelvic alignment, and sometimes it has nothing to do with running”. “It has to do with a day job, where you sit in one particular position all day and then go for a run. The muscles are in a state of tightness on one side and are lengthened on the other, and then you go for a run and your pelvis shifts,” says Duke.
In order to prevent injuries, proper warm-ups should be advocated for runners. This includes exercises that support the spine, get you locomotive and lubricate the joints. Duke says, “break up the intra-articular adhesions that get stuck in the joint and prevent it from fluid mobility.” For example, in order to maintain optimal hip socket health, one needs to warm up their hips in order for move freely and best response to slips, quick changes in stride and uneven terrain.