Chiropractic and running. Do they really mix well?
Chiropractic medicine is very similar to what my staff and I do, that is analyzing biomechanics (albeit with a great deal of specific education behind them) and making adjustments as necessary. There is much more than this, but there is not space to go into all they know here. The key word here is “as necessary”. I firmly believe in Chiropractic medicine, as my first experience was excellent. What made the session excellent was threefold: 1. He was an athlete and understood many of the pains I was going through; 2. He specialized in “Sports Chiropractic” for more active individuals; 3. He only treated what needed help.
I went to him with many of the preconceived notions about back snapping and neck twisting that we all hear from those who chose the “quick fix” chiropractor. What I got instead was a thorough assessment of my structural and muscle imbalances, followed by a stretching session and never once did he try to adjust my back or any other joint. Instead, in a very professional manner, after the detailed assessment of my biomechanical movement and a few x-rays of the affected area, he described my issues as being related to my old job where I sat most of the day which in turn caused all my hip muscles to be tight and that put stress on my lower back. It was not until the third or fourth visit that he attempted to realign the subluxation of the SI joint, and only after he had done more flexibility stretches. Bottom line was my lower back pain disappeared immediately after that visit and with regular visits to him whenever my back started acting up, I could avoid having my wife tie my shoes for me.
However, as good as that experience was, my second chiropractor visit was the terrible wrenching, twisting, and snapping experience followed by a request for payment. I was sore for days afterward and never went back as they were more interested in my money than fixing me. If my issues flare up again, I will definitely make the drive, no matter how far, to my original doctor.
Overall, many of the runners who visit our shop have had good experiences with chiropractors for biomechanical fixes, but you must be choosy as there are good and bad in any profession. That is why my staff and I recommend a very select few doctors, physical therapists, podiatrists and of course chiropractors unless we have heard a good deal of positive results or had a personal experience with them that was very positive.
By the way the GREAT Chiropractor was Dr. Shawn Finn, located in Seven Fields, PA.