To Run…or Not to Run?

What are the two most common problems that we see here at Elstead Chiropractic that can prevent people from running?  I would have to say, without a doubt (all together!) – “Knees!”.

Runner’s Knee (or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome) and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) sprain are the most common knee problems that we see, usually together, and caused most commonly by a twist in the pelvis causing a temporary shortening of one leg and twisting of the thigh.  This results in several kilograms different weighting down through one leg compared to the other and results in a pulling on the ligament on the inside of the knee.  If the band down the outside of the thigh (ITB, extending from the pelvis to just below the knee cap) is too tight, and the muscle on the inside of the thigh is too weak then, instead of the kneecap (patella) tracking vertically across the front of the joint, it starts pulling sideways, which results in inflammation and fluid build-up behind the patella.

The symptoms are clicking, crunching or grinding on crouching, stiffness after sitting for a long time, instability or weakness on stairs and pain when you try to kneel down.

The way we treat this, which we’ve found to be very effective over the years, involves icing the patella, passing gentle current (interferential) across it to drive away the fluid, distracting the shin bone from the thigh bone in order to re-seat the patella, ultrasound over the front of it, electromuscle stimulation of the muscle on the inside of the knee (called the VMO), stretching the ITB, massaging the patella to move the fluid, applying elastic tape (Kinesiotape) across the MCL and patella to stabilize them, and then setting exercises to strengthen the VMO.  We would then also look at levelling the pelvis in order to equalize the leg lengths, so there is equal weighting through each leg and no twisting down through the thigh to the MCL.   This may sound a lot, but we mix all of these methods into each treatment to get you back on your feet for a pain-free run as soon as possible!

With the Elstead Marathon at the end of the month, we would like to offer all runners £30 off a New Patient Chiropractic Consultation (normally £60) with one of our chiropractors, when they present their 2017 medal at their first appointment. We are also offering £10 off appointments for existing patients who present their medal, or organisers/marshalls etc. who help at this year’s event. Or, if you are purely there to cheer and support, why not book in for a FREE 15-minute joint check with one of our chiropractors, who can tell you if your leg lengths need balancing, if your pelvis is twisted, or if your muscle lengths are short, all of which could predispose an injury. Call our reception team on 01252 703633, or email us on, for availability.

Good luck on Friday 30th June 2017!