Running is a fantastic way of keeping fit. It helps to improve cardio-vascular fitness, enhance muscle tone, improve circulation and even lifts your mood. However, just like any other form of strenuous exercise, running poses certain risks, especially for long distance and marathon runners.
Injuries can be common for runners, especially for people that are new to this particular form of exercise. Going from being a non-runner to attempting a marathon can be a huge learning curve, however, it’s important to note that even highly experienced runners can face injuries, aches and pains, especially during periods of intense training.
Whether you are training to run your first marathon or a seasoned runner aiming to beat your personal best, it’s essential to take precautions to avoid injury and to seek treatment when you are suffering from injuries. The good news is, there are numerous treatments available to help marathon runners keep their body in peak position. Seeking advice and treatment from an osteopath could be extremely beneficial in helping you to achieve your marathon goals.
How an osteopath works
Osteopaths focus mainly on the musculoskeletal system (the bones, joints, muscles and tissues) and take a holistic approach to treatment, encouraging the body to restore itself to its normal function. Unlike chiropractors, osteopaths can use their hands to assess, diagnose and treat any underlying problems caused by strenuous exercise such as marathon training.
In many cases, whilst pain or discomfort may be in one area of the body, the causes may lie elsewhere. Osteopaths use biomechanical assessment techniques to look at a person’s mobility, stability and alignment throughout the spine and lower limbs.
By using a range of different gentle stretches, manipulations and massage techniques, osteopaths work to restore the body to its normal function, helping to ease any tension built up in the muscles around joints, as well as increasing circulation. This treatment can help to aid recovery, treat injuries and help to prevent future injuries.
Long term benefits of osteopathy for runners
As osteopaths take a holistic approach, focusing on the body as a whole, rather than just certain areas, when you visit an osteopath with an injured knee, they won’t just focus on the injured area, but how this region is connected with the entire body and how its function is affected. A knee injury may also affect the lower back, the hips and even the feet. The impact of running (especially on hard surfaces) can take its toll on the body.
By learning more about your history, an osteopath will be able to develop a deeper understanding of your injuries and will work to bring your body back to its proper alignment, helping to prevent pain and help runners to avoid similar injuries in the future. As well as manual treatment, osteopaths can also provide advice on lifestyle changes, diet and fitness regimes that may help runners to stay fit and healthy.
By visiting an osteopath on a regular basis, runners can hope to prevent future injuries, restore their joints, muscles and tendons to peak condition, and even run faster!
If you would like to learn more about how osteopathy can benefit runners, or if you would like to arrange an appointment, please call Solihull Osteopathic Practice on 0121 705 4499.