Landing Softly: How to Minimize Impact on the Runner’s Joints
Good running form means efficiency and speed but it also means injury prevention!
If you are trying to improve your running form, it behooves you to focus on minimizing the impact of each step on the joints of your knees and lower back. Yes, this starts with good running shoes, but the degree to which the impact will affect your joints is determined when you strike the ground.
Running with the health of your spine in mind
- Strike the ground with the middle of your foot rather than the heel: this technique, known as mid-foot running, is the most important stride for minimizing the shock factor to spinal joints.
- Short strides that land directly under the hips also minimize impact and help to keep you upright and balanced.
- Upright posture: slumping forward with the shoulders and craning your neck forward puts the spine out of balance and leaves it vulnerable every time your foot hits the ground. Posture awareness is very important for runners.
This all combines to create a more natural running style that will, in the long run, benefit you greatly. Not only will it prevent injury, but it will also make you a more efficient runner
Keeping the damage in check with regular chiropractic care
No matter how careful you are about your running form, some level of impact is likely to reach your spinal joints. This jarring motion tends to move them out of alignment, creating compression on the nearby nerves which can result in dysfunction and pain. If you are interested in keeping your body in the best shape possible so you can keep running to your heart’s content, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.