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"Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride"

By Leonard N. Marino, DC

May 10, 2005 - Like the popular 1980's song says, and like every runner knows, a pain free stride is essential for enjoyable and successful training. However, what happens when injury gets in the way?

The traditional medical approach may be to treat the injury with the use of medications or in severe injury, surgery. Thank goodness for pain relieving medications and for the skilled hands of surgeons, but this "reactive" approach may be a case of "too little too late". Most physicians are trained to look for disease processes, but most athletic injuries are structural or biomechanical in nature.

Allow me to challenge you to think beyond the traditional medical model. When medicine is used to mask symptoms or reduce inflammation without addressing faulty mechanics, the injury often returns. The vicious cycle of faulty mechanics results in structural injury which again results in more medication and perhaps more lengthy breaks in training. After multiple cycles, the body finally breaks down "hard". At this point the injury may be irreversible, resulting in surgical intervention. We all know runners who have been forced to significantly reduce training or leave the sport entirely. This may very well be avoidable.

"Serious running led swiftly to a series of foot, leg, knee and low back injuries...I went dutifully to my specialist friends...They treated the effect, not the cause...When I resumed running, back came my misery and pain....Traditional medicine is not dealing adequately with athletic problems".
-from Dr. George Sheehans Book of Running

The reality is that structural injuries in runners must be treated by correcting biomechanical problems. This will allow you to reduce stress on ligaments, tendons, muscle, cartilage and bone thereby allowing you to train more efficiently with minimal breakdown. Remember that all human beings have structural and postural imbalances and weaknesses. Running increases the forces and demands on our skeletal system. Repetitive activity without correction may lead to premature breakdown, degeneration (osteoarthritis) and decreased quality of life in future years.

The "Sports Biomechanics Structural Exam" is designed to detect structural and postural imbalances in patients with or without symptoms. It involves an analysis of Pedal Foundation, Q angle, Mobility/Joint Function, Muscle Imbalances, Posture and Alignment.

Leonard N. Marino DC, is a Doctor of Chiropractic with a special interest in the care of athletes. He has studied with "The Running Doctor", Dr. Tim Maggs, a noted running authority. Dr. Marino has lectured to Staten Island and Bronx PSAL Cross Country Coaches, has served with the medical teams at the 1991 US Track and Field Championships and the 2004 New York City Marathon. Dr. Marino is also the Chiropractic consultant to Moore Catholic High School's Athletic Program. If you should have any questions or desire a complimentary evaluation, He may be reached @ LNMDC@aol.com, or 718-816- 9000.