The scoop: Honing in on the relationship between the spine, joints and other parts of the body’s structure, chiropractic care generally involves manipulation or adjustment of the spine and joints to improve alignment, reduce pain and promote healing.
The science: Although most research of chiropractic care looks at spinal manipulation (which has been shown to alleviate low back pain), studies demonstrate that it may help treat lower-extremity joint conditions. It has also been shown to increase hip extension in runners.
Best for treating: Chronic injuries, such as IT band syndrome, runner’s knee or low-back pain, that result from biomechanical inefficiencies.
Look for: A doctor of chiropractic degree from a Council on Chiropractic Education–accredited program; sport-specific training; experience evaluating runner’s biomechanics; whether they provide additional complementary practices.
This piece first appeared in the September 2013 issue of Competitor magazine.