Running Tips by Dr. Steven Shoshany
A few weeks ago I wrapped up my second appearance on the show “Conversation Pace”, a show made by runners for runners. It went really well, and will air on the Manhattan News Network, which is an NYC exclusive cable channel. You can also find the episode on their website, as well as Conversation PAce’s social media.
The guest panel was a bit off the cuff and a lot of fun to do, but it can be difficult to give thorough advice and techniques on a TV show, luckily I’ve been a chiropractic blogger for 15 years. I've been an advocate for using advances, exclusive techniques, and integrating chiropractic with just about every medical and alternative-medicine specialty out there. It’s become very apparent that practitioners from across many disciplines work better together, and get long lasting results. So, here are my top three tips, from my 15 plus years of treating all sorts of athletes, especially runners.
My first tip is foundational, and it is about posture. You can hear an entire novel’s worth of commentary on posture from both chiropractors and physical therapists. It determines how you skeletal structure “rests” while in motion. What happens with a lot of long distance runners is what we call Thoracic Kyphosis. It’s the rounding of the middle back, and anterior rotation of the shoulders. You can see this an a lot or runners, actually. This is the classic, hunched back. A lot of people eventually start to look like mr. Burns from the side profile. I often use this comparison with the famous Simpsons villain to get people to understand what the long term effects of bad posture can be.
Furthermore, having thoracic kyphosis also makes it difficult to breathe properly. Why would you want to make it harder to breathe in a sport that is 100% about your aerobic fitness and capacity. Rounding your mid back also causes problems down the kinetic chain, and can expose the lower back to dysfunction and injury.
I’ve talked about this before, and orthotics are one of the most controversial things when it comes to runners. Some runners love them, some hate them, but the definitely do help to prevent injuries and correct gait. In my office, we use a very thorough orthotics building system. It is called the GaitScan, and it not only checks your static weight distribution, but it also measures and graphs the actual gait as you walk. This gives us a lot of information to build a custom orthotic from.
Some runners argue that orthtics are something youll have to commit to for life, but that isn’t the case. These aren’t some off the shelf dr. scholl’s insoles, they’re custom made for each patient. If youve been told that you’ll need to rely on orthotics forever, I can tell you that it is simplt not the case. As you work with our physical therapist to correct your gait and imbalances, you can take them out in as little as 2 or three months. For some patients, orthotics become such a game-changer that they decide to keep them in their shoes for good. Orthotics are not something I would introduce into your shoe 2 months or 3 months prior to a big marathon. If you’re already in the midst of running season, I would wait and then slowly introduce them in to your footwear during downtime or the off season.
Plenty of Rest
Number 3 is rest and recovery. It is absolutely foundational, and I can’t express how many injuries we see in the office that could have been prevented by simple resting, and following proper recovery methods. One of the things we talk about with patients is the need for sleep. Your body enters sleep mode and the microtrauma in the muscles heals, and properly trained and excited muscles grow as they repair. I can't emphasize this enough, you have to sleep to heal.
Try napping after your workouts, even for a half hour. Time is harder and harder to find these days, but most of us cna blow through an hour on social media without even realizing it. I personally like cryotherapy. Im talking about the kind that involves a cold chamber, and liquid nitrogen. it's pretty hard, if not impossible to do at home, so you can do the at-home version with a simple ice-pack or two. You'll be surprised with the results that you get from using the simple, humble ice-pack. Just using ice to bring down the pain and inflammation can help provide your body some time to rest and relax. Downtime in between training sessions helps get your body functioning at 100%.
So if you have any questions or comments about running, or if you need additional information, feel free to reach out to me. You can get in touch through the site, email, or even call the office at 212-645-8151.