How to Prevent Running Injuries with Biomechanical Assessment
An estimated 65% of all runners experience running-related injuries each year. These injuries often occur in the hips, knees, and feet and are the result of improper running mechanics. Our bodies are complex instruments, and when one small factor is out of line, it can cause injury and pain throughout the entire body. In order to prevent those reoccurring, nagging injuries from resurfacing, it is important to ensure your body mechanics are in proper order. Rather than rely on pain medications or invasive surgery, receive a biomechanical assessment and fix the problem areas in your body mechanics.
What is a Biomechanical Assessment?
A biomechanical assessment is a complex evaluation of the feet, legs, hips, and body position while running. Through a series of functional tests, the test’s administrator will evaluate the quality of movement in the patient, while determining if any muscles are excessively tight or weak and if the firing pattern is out of sequence. The administrator will also observe the patient’s muscle strength, joint range of motion, and the angular relationships of the segments in the foot and leg. These tests help discover problems with the patient’s biomechanics that cause pain and injury to arise. Finding these muscular imbalances and movement dysfunctions play a crucial role in developing a plan of attack that not only helps in the treatment of the pain or injury, but also in its prevention and reoccurrence.
Who Needs These Assessments?
There are two primary uses for biomechanical assessments: injury prevention and post-injury treatment. If a patient notices reoccurring pain every time they run, an assessment of their running mechanics could locate what is causing the pain to arise. A sports rehabilitation specialist can then show the patient adjustments they can make in their gait to eliminate the pain from arising again. Biomechanical assessments are also used for people recovering from an injury. Once the body is able to move again without pain, the test’s administrator will evaluate if the patient’s biomechanics are working properly. This is used to ensure the patient healed correctly from the injury and that future pain will not develop after the healing process is concluded.
What Happens Next?
Once the problem in body mechanics is located, the information gained is used by a medical professional to develop a rehabilitation program for the runner. The rehabilitation program may include adjustments to the
runner’s gait, improving flexibility, andstrengthening the supporting muscles of the leg. If improper biomechanics are discovered to be the result of imbalances in the musculoskeletal system, chiropractic adjustments may also be performed. The doctor will utilize chiropractic manipulation or an adjustment to help restore normal function and motion in the patient’s joints.
The goal of a biomechanical assessment is not to critique a runner’s form, but rather to determine if their form could be the cause of their reoccurring pain or injury. Whether you are an avid runner or a weekend warrior, if you notice reoccurring pain during your run you should consider getting a biomechanical assessment. The best way to prevent injury is to listen to your body and make adjustments that allow for the most comfortable running mechanics possible. With a biomechanical assessment, you can prevent and treat pain without the need of invasive surgery or prescription pain medications.
About the Author:
Dr. Kevin Christie is a Chiropractic Physician and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) in Miami, FL at Health-Fit Chiropractic & Sports Recovery where he treats college athletes, as well as professional athletes from the NFL, MLB, and NHL. Dr. Christie was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to the Board of Athletic Trainers as the Chiropractic Advisor. He is also part of the IRONMAN® Provider Network through A.R.T., which sets up a treatment tent for every IRONMAN event to provide treatment to IRONMAN athletes.