Each year thousands of Martin County residents are involved in car accidents. Here are 3 reasons to choose chiropractic care after a car accident. Some car accidents cause minor damage while others cause major damage. The severity of the damage to vehicles and the severity of the injuries vary. Did you know that the vehicle […]
When this appeared in my news feed, I was intrigued. Tiger Woods on career regret: Running ‘destroyed my body and my knees.’
“Tiger Woods was asked by a fan what he would tell his younger self The five-time Masters winner responded, ‘Not to run so much.’ Woods would run 30 miles a week for the first six years of his Tour. He believes that it ultimately caused him injuries resulting in four back and five knee surgeries “
Of course, other factors played a role in Tiger’s injuries, including the biomechanics of the golf swing. The modern golf swing encourages maximum rotation of the spine relative to the hips. This increased twisting of the lumbar spine, combined with a more powerful downswing, puts increased force on spinal discs and facet joints and tremendous pressure on the trailing side of the spine. It’s why 72 % of pro golfers receive regular chiropractic care provided by PGA chiropractic staff.1
However, from what I have seen in my practice, I would agree with Tiger. Running is extremely hard on your body. If you choose to run to stay fit, your top priority should be to prevent running injuries.
In my practice I see a fair number of runners and their injuries related to running, especially new runners. Most of my new to running patients have started running to get in shape and/or lose weight or to condition for another sport such as golf. These injuries vary in severity but are most often straightforward to treat. I will send the patient off with strong recommendations for cross training. I also make a referral to a specialty running shoe store to be fitted for appropriate shoes. Sadly, patients do not always follow my advice. When they don’t, they end up back in my office with the same or new injury due to their new workout routine. This can be very frustrating for the patient. They want to get in shape or improve their golf game, but injuries set them back and leave them feeling discouraged.
This brings me back to the Tiger Woods article. Are golfers and other athletes setting themselves up for failure by running? In my opinion many are. It may be an unpopular opinion but as a practicing chiropractor, I believe now more than ever, “Not everyone should be a runner.” There I said it, out loud. Here’s why.
Running is a high impact, repetitive activity that puts a lot of stress on your body. This can lead to both acute and chronic injuries, especially if proper protocol is not followed. I have seen countless injuries from running that could have been avoided if an alternative exercise had been chosen. There are several exercises that can be just as effective in weight loss and conditioning without the risk of injury or high impact running. These activities include bike riding, walking, and swimming. When I see a patient who is running and is plagued by injuries, it’s time for a serious discussion about alternative forms of exercise. I want to help them achieve their fitness goals without the pain and injuries.
I say this not to dismantle the running community. However, I want to say that running isn’t for everyone and that is okay. There are alternative forms of exercise that are effective and may be better suited for your body type. Do not be ashamed if running is not for you.
Preventing Running Injuries
If running is your passion, then you need to do so safely and effectively. In order to prevent injuries, you need to do more than just throwing on a pair of well-worn tennis shoes and head out the door.
Sixty percent of runners experience an injury severe enough to sideline them from activity.
There are many injuries that can occur while running including:
- broken bones
- lacerations and sprains
- overuse or chronic injuries
Acute injuries such as broken bones, lacerations and sprains require immediate medical attention. However, running involves a low-grade, abnormal force being applied repeatedly over a prolonged period of time. These are classified as overuse injuries.
Overuse injuries from running include:
- stress fractures,
- shin splints,
- iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome,
- runners’ knee,
- achilles tendonitis,
- plantar fasciitis
The thing about overuse injuries is that they happen slowly over time. So, if your hip starts hurting for no apparent reason, you should suspect that the pain is from an overuse injury.
If you’re going to run for exercise, you must address four key factors:
These factors are proper shoes, flexibility, strengthening and training schedules.
#1 Proper shoes: I can’t overstate the importance of proper footwear if you’re going to run. Shoes are the only equipment you need to run. The wrong shoe or an ill fitted shoe can wreak havoc on your body if not appropriate for your foot and running style.
The best way to avoid injury is to prevent it. Since running shoes are the only protective equipment runners have to safeguard themselves from injury, choosing the correct running shoe is important. I refer my patients to a specialty running store close to my office to ensure they have the right shoes for them.
#2 Flexibility: Lack of flexibility can make one prone to overuse injuries such as iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome, shin splints, runners’ knee, and achilles tendonitis. This is where cross-training is important. Yoga and Pilates can directly improve your flexibility.
#3 Strengthening: Appropriate strength of the core and other major muscle groups are crucial for high impact exercise. This is another time where cross-training is important. Such cross-training options include Yoga, Pilates, and Strength training with weights. These can offer reduced risk of injury, activation of other muscle groups and aid in injury recovery without sacrificing fitness level.
#4 Training Schedules: Many researchers acknowledge that “training error” is the main source of injury. These training errors include rapidly changing the volume ran and/or rapidly changing the running pace. Both changes can lead to their own set of injuries.
A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 1 showed that rapid change in running volume may lead to the development of patellofemoral pain syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, and patellar tendinopathy, while change in running pace may be associated with the development of Achilles tendinopathy, gastrocnemius injuries, and plantar fasciitis.
In plain English, runners need to stick to a training schedule and plan the distance and pace according to your fitness levels. There are many couch-to-5k programs for the novice runner as well as apps that you can download that will help to customize a plan for your fitness levels and goals.
Regardless of your training schedule, you must warm-up before running and stretch after running. This will help to avoid injury and keep you on track. If you do not have time to warm-up and stretch afterward you do not have time to run.
Even with the best preparation and a strict adherence to your training schedule, running injuries can still happen.
If an injury occurs it is important to react appropriately. A 2017 survey 2 asked athletes and coaches, “Which factors do you believe influence the risk of running injuries?” An overwhelming majority of the athletes and coaches reported “Ignoring pain” as a risk factor for running injury.
If you have an acute pain, you should seek medical attention ASAP.
For an overuse injury the following first aid is recommended:
- Reduce training, using pain as a guide
- Apply ice to injured area 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times per day
- Use compression to decrease swelling
- Elevate injured area if possible
- Take aspirin or ibuprofen as directed on package instructions. If you need to take OTC pain relievers for more than seven days, seek treatment with knowledgeable medical professional such as a chiropractor or physical therapist.
To prevent further injury, determining the cause of an injury (e.g., tight muscle or weak hip muscles) is key. This is where you need to find a knowledgeable chiropractor or physical therapist.
You should see a knowledgeable chiropractor or physical therapist if:
- Pain continues despite decreased training
- Pain persists beyond 10-14 days
- Pain medications are needed to train
- Pain resolves with rest, but recurs once you resume training
Did running play a part in Tiger Woods’ myriad of injuries? Most likely, especially combined with the physically demanding sport of golf. What if he had been instructed to cross-train instead of running 30 plus miles a week? Would he have been able to avoid his injuries and surgeries? Perhaps, but hindsight is 20/20. Which is why I’m sharing this information with you now.
The best advice is listen to your body. Pain is a signal that something is wrong. Don’t ignore it. When in doubt, seek a professional’s help.
Whiplash is a generic term used to describe a hyper extension and flexion injury to the neck. It is a soft tissue injury to the neck. Often associated with car accidents (even low velocity ones), whiplash is a serious injury.
Did you know that whiplash injuries aren’t limited to car accidents? While whiplash can occur after an automobile accident, it can also be caused by a fall, a sports injury, or anytime there’s a sudden jolt of the head.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a generic term used to describe a soft tissue injury to the neck due to a forceful back and forth movement of the neck. Often when someone suffers from whiplash, the force causes injury to the ligaments and muscles of of the neck. It’s technically a strain/sprain injury, causing a sprain to the ligaments and strain on the muscles of the neck.
What causes whiplash?
Any large force that is incurred to the body and causes the head to “whip” back and forth can cause whiplash.
Such forces include:
- Automobile accident: especially rear-end collisions.
- Physical abuse or violence: oneself being punched or shaken
- Contact sports: football, soccer, and lacrosse to name a few.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Symptoms for whiplash usually develop within 24 hours of the accident but may take longer to appear. Symptoms of whiplash are:
- Neck pain
- Neck pain worse with movement
- Loss of range of motion or inability to move the neck
- Pain in the shoulders, arms and upper back
- Tingling and numbness in the arms
Some people also experience:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Inability to sleep
If you have been in any type of accident and begin to experience any of these symptoms you should seek the advice of a qualified medical professional such as your medical doctor or chiropractor.
How do you treat whiplash?
It is important to remember to keep active after a whiplash injury.
Bed rest is ok for the first 24 hours but after that movement is vital.
If you stay inactive or wear a foam cervical collar for longer than that, you may be doing more harm than good. Inactivity and foam cervical collars lead to the weakening of the cervical muscles and can prolong your healing time.
It is highly recommended to seek professional medical care within 24 hours of your injury. Your doctor can make recommendations on bed rest and cervical collars based on your individual case.
Treatments for whiplash include1:
- Chiropractic care
- Physical Therapy
- At home exercises
- TENS unit therapy
- Ice or heat therapy
- Over-the-counter pain medication
- Prescription medication
If you are experiencing neck pain and live or work in the Stuart, Fl area, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC. Call 855-509-5400.
Sprains and strains are common injuries that fall into three categories: mild, moderate and severe.
What is a sprain?
A sprain is a stretch and/or tear of a ligament, the fibrous band of connective tissue that joins the end of one bone with another. Ligaments stabilize and support the body’s joints. The ligaments that help support, protect, and restrict excessive movement are torn, which is called a sprain.
What is a strain?
A strain is an injury of a muscle and/or tendon. Tendons are fibrous cords of tissue that attach muscles to bone. When these fibrous cords are stretched beyond their normal limits they become strained.
What causes sprain/strains?
Causes for sprains are:
- Direct or Indirect trauma
Causes for strains are:
- Repetitive movements
- Over stretching
- Direct trauma
What are the symptoms of a sprain/strain?
Symptoms for a sprain are:
These symptoms vary in intensity depending on whether the sprain is mild, moderate or severe.
- Symptoms for a strain are:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle spasms
- These symptoms vary in intensity depending on whether the strain is mild, moderate or severe.
Treatment for sprain/strains
Treatment for a sprain or strain is similar in the beginning with RICE:
After the initial injury one must be evaluated by a medical health professional to determine if more extensive therapy or measure need to be taken to treat the injury.
Prevention of sprains and strains
No one is immune to a sprain or strain injury but there are several things you can do to try and prevent or lessen the severity of the injury.
- Proper conditioning for the activity you are planning in participating
- Properly fitted shoes; a knowledgeable sports shoes clerk or better yet a knowledgeable chiropractor can help you with the fit of your shoes.
- Proper warm up before activity
If you are experiencing sprain or strain symptoms and wish to discuss your treatment options please schedule an appointment with Advanced Wellness Solutions