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Columns : Body by Blower - Dr. Brian Blower DC Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Chiropractic and the Runner
By Dr. Brian G Blower, DC
Nov 2, 2010 - 4:21:33 PM

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We’ve all seen them on the roadways and most of us look but don’t really recognize what is happening right before our eyes.  Yesterday I was driving down the street and there was another one, a runner.  

Few of the runners I see are running well.  Most of them are spur of the moment “get up and off the couch and get in shape now” runners.  

Dressed in anything from co-ordinates to shorts and no tee they are out there trying to ignore us as we zip by doing our busy essentials.  

But take a look at some of the postures, the irregular strides and yesterday what prompted me to chat about the runner is that she was hobbling down the road with an attitude and a limping gait.  

Stop already girl!  Limping is a tell, its yelling out about acute straining, and to push it will always lead to further trauma, pain and infirmary.  How is hobbling, limping and abusing our frame going to improve our health?  

Weekend warrior stuff?  Yeah I guess so, but remember that we are what we are and we got here on the backs of billions of others.  When we learned how to run and chase for our groceries we were always young and in our top predator prime.  

Running isn’t for all of us.  Most of us are has beens, we’re over twenty.  We’re past our prime. We’re blown out and worn out and in the wild we wouldn’t be the one at the front of the pack pulling down the antelope and feeding the girls and the kids, our families.  

We all like the “runners high,” the endorphin release and the feel good after feeling that comes with exercise and especially aerobics.  Research has shown over and over again how very good it is for both our present and long term health to attain the blood endorphins and circulatory strengths from exercise.  So get off your butt and get out the sneakers and walk/run.  

But most of us aren’t running material anymore.  Oh sure we used to be and with our mind and it’s memories we can still conjure up the picture of us in our youth running effortlessly down the trails experiencing the huge lungful of air and the high, along with the washboard abs and the energy that goes with it all.  Memories and yesterday folks, let’s face it we’re not as young as we used to be.  

So what does a “limping runner” do?  Should she stay on the couch and timidly watch her weight and her clothing digress away from each other?  Is there a way out for our damsel in distress?  Can she find a suitable program that will get her to her modest goal of improved fitness.  

Of course there is a way to fitness, but just like Chris Columbus she must start off with a realistic dream and the “steady at the helm” mantra that provides the slow but constant goal oriented outcomes.  Pitch the costume sweetheart and get your thinking cap on instead of the pink ball cap.  

Let’s review for those of us that are reading about health for the first time.  Healthy is when everything works.  That doesn’t mean that it looks good.  Nor does it mean that it feels good.  It means it goes to work to its potential for us either automatically or voluntarily, the key word here is that it works.  

Muscles do most of the work for us.  Over 60% of our body is muscle mass.  The unfortunate thing about us is that we don’t have the capacity to feel with our “new brain,” the cortex, whether or not our muscles are indeed doing their work.  That is why so many of us are testing the muscles manually to determine their individual unique capacity to load in a healthy sustained manner.  Health is when the muscles go to work for you and stabilize the bone axis and joints supporting the smooth full range-of-motion (ROM) of our skeletal pieces.  

Support by all of the muscles working all of the time gives us the capacity to walk or even run in a fluid balanced manner and my friends unfortunately having a full ROM is usually the realm of the young.  

“But I really want to be young and have a full ROM again and am willing to work hard and sacrifice to get it!”  OK, that’s a great attitude but like a kid with a new Corvette there is a strong tendency to promptly pull the clutch and break the drive train.  Trust me.  What I do is fix broken body drive trains, your spines, over and over again.  I do this mostly for those of us that think we are healthy, everything is working, but find that when we load the body we aren’t.  

Does running load the body?  Sure, it requires us to “work.”  Work is the effort needed to move mass.  Care should be taken when we attempt to suddenly engage our  muscle mass against gravity.  Gravity is bigger than we are and it is merciless.   

But gravity is also something that is a constant.  We can raise or lessen the load of gravity upon us as we wish.  This is where walking pays off.  With walking we can easily pick our pace and stride length, thus determining the amount of energy we wish to expend over a given length of time.  And by changing the grade we can further alter the amount of load we will stress and strain against.  

Start off easy, perhaps hire a trainer, someone to both encourage and mentor  us until our fitness level improves and we can begin running.  Obviously our “road runner” in the pink cap wasn’t interested in anyone else’s input when she lurched out of her home and onto the road.   

I would have liked to be a fly on the wall to see how she made out the next day and especially the day after when the lactic acids from her energy conversions really burn in the muscles.  I wouldn’t think she would be aware enough on her own to take a teaspoon of baking soda to buffer that reaction.  

And why was she limping?  We limp when one side of us is different from the other.  How can that be so?  I don’t mean different in structure for most of us are symmetrical.  What I am implying is that she had a difference in the function of one side when compared to the other.  The muscles of one side of her back were stronger in function when compared to the exact muscles of the opposite side.  If they are spinal muscles, the strong side then tends to pull the other towards it and we go off of the axis of gravity.  

Off gravitational axis is a tell.  Being off axis tells of our being cheated out of our health.  Most of us see loss of health in someone’s “poor posture.”  Let me tell you that if you can see it then it is well advanced  And the person you are viewing is struggling and losing, they are being cheated out of their wellness and usually aren’t doing anything about it.  

So when we see posture challenges in us we strap on our sneakers and rev up the old frame and muscle system which then of course breaks down.  Then we weep about our pain for the next while and drink powders and potions and pills to stupefy us.  And we chill and heat and rub all sorts of concoctions on the sore spots till we heal enough to hobble along for the duration.   

We don’t dare do any more of that fitness foolishness, that is obviously dangerous to us.  Then the fat piles on and the morose drives us to drink and we get depressed and take more powders and potions.  Where is that going?  

What we must do is use our “big brain” (all three parts) and go to an expert for advice and help.  We know that our spine is bending off of gravity’s center when our nose doesn’t line up with our belly button.  Go on, stand up and take off the shirt and look at yourself, others do.  

If your head cocks to one side (ever see those runners like that?) then go and get your self lined up.  Pressure and angle changes on the over three hundred facets, (faces of bone at the joints) tell the brain where both gravity and the parts are.  That is how the brain and body co-ordinates posture.  

Go to your chiropractor and have your spine and extremities eased back into their full ROM.  Without joint subluxations our facets will “posture speak” to the brain better.  At least get the joints back to their potential ROM for we all get permanent changes as we age and are unattended to for great lengths of time.  

By adjusting the segments of the spine and limbs, the subluxations, we will all receive an improved nervous system response and the weakness of the trunk and leg muscles will likely improve too.  When this happens we will sense that we are ready to attempt to walk and then run again.  Stay with the expert and use him to constantly keep up the improvements made through the chiropractic adjustments and the ensuing muscle and nerve responses.  

Our health is elusive and we don’t feel its withdrawal until we strain and sprain.  Then it is late, often too late.  So don’t expect an instant total reversal of our symptoms (we have liquor and drug stores for that) but rather a constant and substantial improvement in our health as everything begins to work again. 


About the author: Dr. Brian Blower has been a licensed chiropractor for 35 years practicing Applied Kinesiology and has been in private practice on Grand Bahama Island for the past 10 years. He is a founding member of Applied Kinesiology Canada and was educated at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He has treated many celebrities and also specializes in sports medicine.  Dr Blower is currently in practice at the Family Wellness Center across from the Rand Hospital, Freeport. He can be reached at 242-351-5424 or 727-2454.    You can also find Dr. Blower on Facebook HERE

Feel free to contact Dr. Blower with any of your questions or comments at BodyByBlower@yahoo.com

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