Running safety tips with Dr. Pulley

Cassie and Braxton at the Midnight Madness Race in 2017, our favorite event to run together.

I didn’t start running until I was in my 30s, as a lifestyle change after a health scare. My friend, Braxton Pulley, DC and owner of East Village Chiropractic, was one of my biggest supporters as I learned how to run safely. He’s also helped me through a few slumps, injuries, and disappointments. With so many of our East Village Spa guests and his chiropractic patients training for races this season, I asked him to share advice to keep you runs safe and fun!

Q: Is running safe? Research seems to disagree.

A: Running is safe within reason. You have to listen to your body and remember that pain is a way for your body to tell you something isn’t right. If you have a persistent problem while running, talk with your health care professional. It could be shoes, mechanics, or prior injuries. It has been my experience that significant safety issues usually arise when people don’t pay attention to their bodies and just try to “walk it off.”

Q: What are the most common injuries you see in your patients who are runners and what can they do to help prevent them or recover from them?

A: Hip pain-focus on stretching your hip rotators, hip flexors, and hamstrings. Knee pain-most knee pain related to running that my patients present with tends to be from the IT band on the outside of the thigh. Massage can help. Plantar fascitis-this primarily stems from lack of stretching the calf. Stretch both the gastrocnemius and the soleus to help reduce likelihood of this injury.

Q: Should I stretch before or after I run?

A: This is the age old question. Recent evidence is showing that there is no benefit to stretching beforehand and some studies show stretching before running can increase the possibility of an injury. I think the entire argument is off-base. Warm up and cool down for your runs, but stretch every single evening, regardless of whether you have worked out that day. It can take a few days for muscles to tighten up, and stretching right after a run won’t do a lot for the soreness you may have 2 days later.

Q: How can someone safely start running?

A: The key is patience and setting a long term goal. It takes awhile to train your muscles and your lungs so be patient and persistent. There are a lot o f programs out there, but I have seen the “Couch to 5k” type program work well with many of our patients.

My first 5k with Dr. Pulley and my husband. I finished with a pace over 12 minute miles, but this accomplishment was as exciting as my first half marathon. In running, every milestone is a victory!

Q: What is your advice for dealing with the setbacks that are inevitable for runners?

A: Setbacks are going to happen. Injuries, weather, motivation, life…they happen. When it comes to running, enjoy the journey. When you can’t run, keep your mind in the game by using other aerobic activities (as tolerated) like swimming, biking, rowing, etc… This will also help keep your lungs engaged. When you are ready to run again, start slowly and work your way back to where you were. I think you’ll find that you recover much quicker than you think!

You can do it!

Whether you’re contemplating starting to walk or jog or you’re a seriously competitive runner, massage therapy and chiropractic care can help you achieve your goals. I’ve been fortunate to have advice and support from Dr. Pulley in my athletic endeavors. If you can’t make your chiropractor your running buddy (which is pretty convenient, I’m not going to lie!) at least turn to them for advice.

To learn more about Dr. Pulley’s services, click here. If you’d like to schedule an athletic massage at East Village Spa to support or reward your training, click here.

The Midnight Madness Run in 2016

Trusted Referral: Dr. Braxton Pulley at East Village Chiropractic

Dr. Braxton Pulley, owner of East Village Chiropractic

Dr. Braxton Pulley, owner of East Village Chiropractic

Our team can only do so much, so we trust other healthcare providers to complement the wellness services we offer at East Village Spa. Today, we’re pleased to introduce you to Braxton Pulley, DC, owner of East Village Chiropractic at 300 East Locust Suite 140. (515) 288-8058.

How long have you been providing chiropractic services? Our office opened in 2004.

What services do you offer? We provide chiropractic care for a variety of back, neck, arm, and leg injuries and chronic pain conditions. We also provide school physicals for student athletes.

What are some of the reasons people seek your services? Our primary focus is to make sure anyone that is hurting finds out what is happening and gets help. We are excellent at diagnosing conditions and provide fantastic care where we can. If we can’t help, we will work with the entire medical community to help find the best answer or referral for that person.

Are there specific conditions that you’ve had exceptional success treating? We have had great treatment responses to neck and back pain syndromes as expected for chiropractors. Several other injuries that have responded well to our care include shoulder and arm problems, hip problems, and issues with the feet. The combination of soft tissue work and chiropractic adjustments seems to provide great results with these challenges.

How do your services complement the services at East Village Spa? Most people working 9 to 5 with 2.5 kids and the picket fence often don’t have the time to properly take care of their body.  We help people get started on the road to good health, but more is needed outside the care we can provide.  The expertise and care provided by the massage therapists at East Village Spa is wonderful not only in aiding and treating muscular problems, but keeping you healthy overall.

What can people expect during their initial visit? The first visit is very straightforward and takes about 30 minutes. We have the usual forms to complete (which can be done early at www.eastvillagechiro.com) and then you will sit down with the doctor to determine what is going on with your pain or the concern that brought you in for a visit.

After an exam focusing on your areas of complaint, we will discuss what your diagnosis is and what options you have to take care of it. Often, we can help, but if we can’t, we will refer you where you can get the help you need.

Do you accept insurance? Yes, we accept most forms of insurance. Our staff will contact your carrier to verify your coverage to make the process easier for you.

How can people learn more about your services? Please visit our website at www.eastvillagechiro.com. We are also on Facebook and Google+ as EastVillageChiropractic. Also, don’t hesitate to call (515) 288-8058 with questions or to schedule an appointment. Dr. Pulley also welcomes your e-mails at braxtonpulley@gmail.com.

To learn how East Village Spa services can be beneficial in conjunction with your chiropractic care, talk to Dr. Pulley or learn more about our services at www.EVDaySpa.com

East Village Spa and East Village Chiropractic have won Des Moines' Best awards year after year. We are proud to work closely with Dr. Pulley!

East Village Spa and East Village Chiropractic have won Des Moines’ Best awards year after year. We are proud to work closely with Dr. Pulley!