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Dr. Andrew Cohen, CCSP®, San Francisco sports chiropractor, believes it’s easier to help patients when he personally understands the challenges athletics place on the body (click here to see the 28 challenges for 2012). That is one reason why he ran the Honolulu Marathon a few years ago and will run the Tough Mudder for the third time on September 22nd, 2012.

“Tough Mudder is the TOUGHEST one day event on the planet,” the race brands itself.  They say “this is not your average mud run or boring, spirit-crushing road race” and Dr. Cohen has found this true as he trains for the Tough Mudder at Northstar in Tahoe.

Dr. Cohen loves the challenge of a race as motivation for training. More importantly, it helps him treat other extreme athletes by understanding the taxing physical and mental components of the race. He uses that knowledge to help patients avoid injuries and train more effectively.

The most common injuries and ailments to concentrate on preventing at Tough Mudder and similar events are:

  1. Hypothermia: make sure you wear quick-drying, breathable clothes as you’ll be in and out of ice cold water. I’ve found tights work well, but use good judgement.
  2. Flesh wounds to the hands: I recommend wearing gloves as you’ll be jumping and hanging from stuff, crawling through other stuff, and running with logs.
  3. Ankle Sprains: I recommend you get your feet checked out. If you have unstable arches, you’re more likely to sprain your ankle which will ruin your chance of finishing the race with a smile and the rest of your team.
  4. Knee pain, Runner’s Knee, and hip pain from running the mountains: Maintain control going down the mountains. I know it’s easier than going up but also easier to injury yourself.
  5. Energy: Like any other race that will go over an hour, bring goos or electrolyte treats. Often race sponsors provide these,  but I don’t recommend changing the brand or flavor the day of the race as it can cause stomach aches or, ahem, pit stops. They estimate a three hour completion. Now unless you’re in the first group or two, plan on longer (much longer) completion time because obstacles get backed up. Bring enough goo for each hour.

Safety first. If you are encountering any pain before the race, make sure you get it checked out because this course will exacerbate any ache or pain AND increase your likelihood of more serious injury.

Schedule an appointment online today. If you’re a fellow Tough Mudder, bring your registration documentation and receive $70 off the first visit in September.