In the July issue of Runner's World, there is an informative article in the Mind and Body section titled Natural Cures. The question is raised, "Can alternative remedies offer runners a better route to pain relief?". I have often looked for the best way to treat a variety of aches and pains amid all of the recommendations of the experts in the field in a variety of online and print publications. So many opinions and so many treatments. Some contradict each other. Others just don't have common sense as a part of the solution. With that said, I read this article with great interest since I would rather go the "natural" route for treatment of aches and pains. Ultra-marathon champion Scott Jurek offered some good comments on an injury that he had and I thought it would be good to share his viewpoint and on a philosophy that I am increasingly buying into.
Jurek states that "Homeopathic therapies allow me to access my body's healing potential," Jurek says. " Alternative medicine aims to resolve imbalances and solve the problem rather than just relieve the symptoms." That's where I buy in. Too many times we take the approach of treating the symptoms and don't consider the bigger picture of trying to solve the problem. Jurek goes on to say, " Alternative therapies tend to place a greater focus on the biomechanics, nutrition, and alignment, details that can solve runners' problems". I like that. (It is mentioned also, that "for pain that is severe or chronic, see a medical doctor".)
The article suggests five therapies that we as runners should try. The article gives you information on what the promise of the treatment is, the science, and who should try it. The five areas are : acupuncture, sports massage, imagery, herbal remedies, and chiropractic treatment. After just having gone to the chiropractor today for an alignment check after a trail race, I have a strong belief that we should establish a team of support. I am lucky enough to have found some great people to help me out. I couldn't get along without them. I have a great chiropractor, massage therapist, personal trainer, and nutrition specialist. They keep me going. I appreciate their understanding of the running goals that I have and also the ability to keep my training plans in focus with future races. Sometimes it's not possible for everyone to put together a team like that. I am always open to readers submitting questions that they might have through the comment section of this blog and I'll reply back to you. If I can't answer your question, I will find someone on my team that can.
The next time and ache or pain strikes, please consider solving the problem instead of just relieving the symptoms.
Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!