Article published in the Pulse Magazine, Milton Keynes:

by Dr. Jonathan Grendelmeier
The first ever Milton Keynes Marathon is taking place on the 29th April 2012 so it is a good time to write about a sport that is extremely popular in Milton Keynes. I did my first marathon in 1998 and developed a knee problem but was lucky enough to have chiropractic treatment and be pointed in the direction of a podiatrist and managed to run my second marathon in the same year and shave off an hour of the time with no knee pain at all.

This a picture of one of my patients who ran an Ironman and was in Team GB Triathlon and Duathlon in 2010. I have treated him for over ten years now and he is an amazing athlete in terms of pure ability and also dedication to training.

I have always had an interest in treating running injuries even though runners are not exactly easy patients as they rarely listen to advice such as: “Take it easy for a week.” In fact, they will take pleasure in telling me that they will do a ten mile run on the same day as they are receiving their treatment!

Last month in MK Pulse I wrote about the fact that with horseriding injuries both the horse and the rider must be evaluated concurrently and the same goes for a runner and his footwear. I often ask my patients to bring in their running shoes so I can assess the wear on the sole of the shoe as this can give vital clues as to what is happening when they are doing their training. There are different evaluations that are important. A static foot evaluation is important but even more important is a functional gait analysis. By this I mean watching the runner run and walk to see what is happening when he runs.

As a chiropractor I am interested in the following aspects:

  • l Do the feet pronate or supinate during their gait are all other relevant joints aligned?
  • l What happens to the ankle and knee joints when they run?
  • l Do they manage to keep their pelvis and spine aligned?
  • l Are they sufficiently relaxed in their upper body?

Recently, I went to a conference on running and one of the speakers joked about the running style of one of the UK’s top marathon runners who has a characteristic ‘bobbing’ head movement. He was really commenting about the fact that even top runners do not always have biomechanically efficient running styles but can still be at the top of their game. This may be true but I am in no doubt that any runner can benefit from running style advice that may help him or her to run more efficiently.

Top Tips

Change your trainers regularly and make sure they are right for your feet.- Have your spine and other joints evaluated regularly or at least before an event to minimise injury.- Train with a local running or athletics club so you can benefit from good coaching.

The following are typical injuries that I encounter in the clinic: Plantar fasciitis; Acute ankle sprains; Shin splints; ITB syndrome; Kneepain; Lower back and hip pain.

Treatment can vary from chiropractic realignment of specific joints such as the foot or ankle or the lower back. Specific acupuncture to help muscle or joint pain. Taping to injured joints. Exercise and rehabilitation advice. Advice on footwear and possible referral to podiatrist.