Comox Valley Chiropractor – Tips for your Health

Health tips from your Comox Valley Chiropractor

Stretching For Runners February 22, 2009

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Running is a great form of exercise – easy, cheap and great for your cardiovascular system. However, running can also be very hard on your joints. Your joints are subjected to higher than normal forces with each stride, and this can compound any minor flaw in your biomechanics or your body. A tight hip or strained hamstring can alter your running position enough to cause significant pain.

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As I have said before, prevention is the key. Its way easier to prevent something than to fix it once its happened. Apart from ensuring you have a good pair of running shoes, the second most important preventative step is to stretch out your body at the end of your run. This will help to loosen up any muscles that have tightened up, and will help your body recover faster.

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The Canadian Chiropractic Association has created a brochure outlining some easy and effective running stretches. Again, these are to be done at the end of your run. The brochure can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:

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Running Stretches

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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

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Choosing Good Running Shoes June 3, 2008

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The function of a running shoe is to protect the foot from the stress of running, while permitting the athlete to achieve his/her maximum potential.  With so many different types and styles of running shoes today, it can be very confusing to know which one to choose. First, you need to know your feet.

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For example, people with low arches, called pronators, will need a shoe that provides some degree of stability.  A shoe with good cushioning is important for people with high arches, called supinators. There are three main features of a shoe that you need to consider when selecting a running shoe: shape, type of construction, and midsole.

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Shape

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To determine the shape of the shoe, look at the sole.  Draw a straight line from the middle of the heel to the top of the shoe.  In a curve-shaped shoe, most comfortable for supinators, the line will pass through the outer half of the toe.  A straight-shaped shoe will have a line that passes through the middle of the toe.  These shoes are built to give pronators added stability.

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Construction

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There are three types of shoe construction.  To evaluate this, take the insole out and look at what type of stitching is used on the bottom.  In board construction shoes, built specifically for pronators, the bottom of the shoe will not have any visible stitching.  Combination shoes, appropriate for mild pronators or supinators, will have stitching that begins halfway.  On slip-constructed shoes, you will see stitching running the entire length of the shoe providing the flexibility supinators need.

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Midsole

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Most of the cushioning and stability of a running shoe is determined by the
midsole.  A dual-density midsole provides shock absorption as well as some stability, perfect for pronators.  Single density midsoles offer good cushioning but are not great at providing stability, making them better for supinators.

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Other Shoe Shopping Tips

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• Shop in the afternoon or evening, as your feet tend to accumulate fluid and swell throughout the day.

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• Not all shoes are created equally.  The same shoe sizes can have different fits depending on the maker.  Make sure to try several sizes to find the most comfortable shoe.

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• Avoid buying shoes that you feel need a break-in period.  Shoes should be comfortable from the first time you put them on.

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• Select a running shoe store with knowledgeable staff who can provide advice on the shoe that best suits your activity, body structure and type of foot.

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• Running shoes are an investment in your health.  Better quality shoes may cost more but will pay off in terms of support and sturdiness.  A mid-priced shoe may offer the best value.

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• Most importantly, your running shoes must be comfortable – go for a short jog inside the store to test them out!

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• And lastly, to prevent injury, don’t forget to replace your runners every 400 to 600 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first.

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Your Comox Valley Chiropractor is here to help. Chiropractors can help you prevent running-related problems by assessing your gait, as well as the mobility of the joints in your feet, legs, pelvis and spine.  Should you suffer stress and strain from running, your Comox Valley Chiropractor can also provide treatment for your pain.

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The information above was originally generated by the Canadian Chiropractic Association for patient education.

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Sun Run Aftermath April 19, 2008

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The annual Sun Run is tomorrow, and while the mere thought of sharing space with 55,000 of my closest friends sends me into convulsions of claustrophobia, it continues to be a very popular event.

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Many people will be drawn to running because of its ease, affordability and simplicity. Its a great cardiovascular exercise that can be done anywhere, and can be modified for skill and ability level. However, it is also very high impact and hard on the body.

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With over two times your body weight pounding down on your joints with every step, even a small biomechanical flaw will be exaggerated. A collapsed arch? A tight hip? A mis-aligned kneecap? Each of these problems can turn into real pain.

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The good news is that most of the time a new pair of shoes is all you need to rid yourself of the pain. Check out our Comox Valley Chiropractic website, and an article on choosing an appropriate running shoe.

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If this doesn’t solve your problem, or if your pain is stopping you from running, see your Comox Valley Chiropractor for an evaluation. Often times a simple correction of a lingering problem is all you  need to get back on the road.

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