Road Running: The Hidden Danger

 In Health

Do you run on paved roads?
Yes? Do you know what a “Cross Slope” is? No?! Then you really need to read this article.

We are told that we should run against traffic for our safety. That’s not bad advise, but it could be killing your knees, back, and pretty much any other joint in your body. On paved roads there is a design built-in that helps water run off the road and into the gutters. That design is called a cross slope. So what happens if you are always running against traffic? Well, your left foot has
a lot longer of a drop to hit the road than your right foot. So what? This will cause an uneven stride, leading to compensations in your musculoskeletal and fascial systems. If you are running mile after mile like this then you are going to be experiencing back pain, hip issues, knee discomfort, and even headaches.

There are a couple of things you can do to help your body out. You can stay on the same side of the road the entire run. While this isn’t the best or safest option, it might be all you can do. As long as you run the same distance against traffic as you do with traffic you will at least balance out the stresses of the cross slope. The better option would be to run on a trail that is flat. Be careful about running on sidewalks though, the concrete does not give under the impact of you running. This will send more forces into your joints, causing more strain than we would like.  You can also run on uneven terrain, like a dirt trail. This will allow your body to constantly adapt to new bumps and dips thus recruiting more stabilizing muscles; meaning, a more effective workout. Since you are running on actual earth/dirt, a lot of the stressful forces are taken up by the ground and will be easier on your joints.Any Spine Chiropractic is dedicated to helping you understand how your everyday activities may be affecting your body and health. Follow us on Facebook for the latest videos and blog posts.
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