TotR: Alternative Medicine for Runners

Tuesdays on the Run is here again!  Patty from My No-Guilt Life, Erika from MCM Mama Runs are exploring how alternative medicine can help runners!  AlternativeMedsI’ve tried three different alternative medicine treatments for my running to prevent and treat injuries, even those nagging little ones.  They all did help, but to different degrees. acupunctureI get acupuncture at least once a month and I can attest that it does help.  I have been treated for some running injuries but I primarily go to acupuncture for overall health and support of my constitution.  When I was pregnant I had gestational diabetes and I had to test my blood sugar after every meal.  I noticed that on the days I went to acupuncture, my blood sugar was always much lower and more stable.  So, I am pretty confident that there is some non-placebo effect.  And just relaxing on the table for an hour or so is a stress reliever!  Here’s an older post about my experience with acupuncture if you’re interested in more detail!

I go to the chiropractor from time to time.  I don’t really like to visit if I’m not having any issues but I did have one really great experience.  I had this bizarre pain in the front of my hip (the iliac crest) always hurt when I ran.  I went to an ortho doctor and physical therapy but no one could diagnose or fix my problem.  This went on for months!  I finally went to the chiropractor and although I limped in, after the adjustment I walked out and didn’t have a recurrence of the pain!  massage2The alternative medicine treatment that is the absolutely most effective for me is deep tissue massage.  I love getting massages, even when they kind of hurt, because I tend to keep a lot of tension in my muscles.  Especially my neck and shoulders and my calves.  When I’m getting massage regularly, I notice that I get fewer running injuries and just feel better and looser on the run.  I’m lucky to have great health insurance that covers part of it and that we have a great selection of sports massage therapists (yay, university town!).  Here’s my prior post on massage if you’d like to know more!

When I was battling an injury (achilles tendonitis), I did have some physical therapy that included ultrasound and electro-stim therapy.  I definitely think those helped me heal much faster!

While I always recommend that people with an injury visit their doctor or an orthopedic doctor who specializes in running, my personal experience has been that alternative medicine can sometimes help prevent future injuries or even fix a stubborn mystery injury!

Have you ever tried alternative medicine to help with your running?  What works for you?

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TotR: Alternative Medicine for Runners — 26 Comments

    • They are pretty fast and I’ve had good results too. One that I went to seemed to do no harm but no real help either but the other has done amazing work on my injuries!

    • For me, massage and chiro are much better for treating acute injuries and acupuncture is better (for me!) for general constitution issues (especially health issues caused by my stress levels!). Glad massage has been helping you, if I could only keep one treatment it would definitely be massage!

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    • It’s amazing that when you get a good one the results are so immediate!

  2. I was having awful hip pain a cew years ago and did the same thing. I went to a chiropractor and got an adjustment and haven’t have an issue again. I go every year just to be realigned. It brought much needed relief!!
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    • I tend to go just when things are troubling me and not regularly although I know some people who go every week or two!

    • The funny thing is that the massage therapist I am using right now doesn’t take insurance, but I like her so much I’m just paying out of pocket!

    • Ha, I seem to do as well! And my once a year exams seem to fall at the same time every year which is when it seems really crazy!

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    • I figure it’s worth trying new stuff and continuing what works and just not going back if it doesn’t. And what works has to be different for differnt people!

    • There are definitely some bad ones along with the good ones in alternative medicine, but I’ve seen the same with regular doctors. I had one physician who looked at my chart when I came in for an annual exam and said “thank goodness this is a well visit, I’m so sick of dealing with sick people!”. Crazy, right?!

    • The needles are super thin and generally I don’t even feel them. Every now and then one will sting though!

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I believe it helps my overall energy and keeps my crazy tension induced symptoms in check.

    • Thanks. I agree; I love having the option of both traditional and alternative treatments. For me they seem to compliment each other.