This is part 1 of a 2 part series on Chiropractic medicine and running.
1. How does chiropractic medicine differ from physical therapy?
That’s a good question. Chiropractic and physical therapy are more similar that most chiros or PT’s would like to admit and in reality the two working together has been shown to have the best results for the patient. I would say that the biggest distinction between the two would be the approach. PT typically is symptomatic based therapy and chiropractic usually take on a whole body approach or vitalistic based therapy. In my experience patients tend to get the best result when they start with Chiropractic to restore normal joint and muscle function and then transition to physical therapy for re-habilitative exercises at stabilize the changes.
2. What are the benefits and risks of chiropractic?
The benefits of Chiropractic care can be endless. For runners the benefits would be the treatment and management of common running injuries such as IT band syndrome, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and lower back pain. As well and injury prevention and most importantly performance improvement. The most common risk of any chiropractic treatment is soreness. There are additional factors that can be contraindications to cer-tain treatment methods or increase the risk of injury from care which is why it is very im-portant to give your chiropractor your full medical history.
3. Why should I see a chiropractor for a running injury?
Most running injuries are not pathological ( fractures/tears etc) most are mechanical. Chiropractic based care can not only help you treat the injury using very effective yet conservative methods but also help to discover why the injury occurred and help resolve any imbalances or dysfunction that may have led to the injury.
4. Do I need a referral to see a chiropractor?
No. You do not typically need a referral to see a chiropractor.
5. What types of running injuries or conditions can a chiropractor treat?
Almost all running injuries can be evaluated and treated by a Chiropractor. The most common seen in my office are IT band syndrome, hip pain, groin pulls, shin splints, plantar fasciitis/foot pain, hamstring strains, knee injuries and lower back pain. If the in-jury is pathological like a broken bone, possible stress fracture, or torn muscle the chi-ropractor will refer you to the appropriate medical doctor.
6. When is too long after an injury to seek treatment?
It is never too long after an injury to seek treatment. The longer you wait however the higher the likelihood that the treatment will take longer and may require a more invasive approach.
7. Are there any symptoms that indicate I need chiropractic treatment?
The most common symptom would probably be pain but limitations in movement/range of motion, reductions in performance or just simply the desire to improve and prevent injury would be very good reasons to seek chiropractic care.