Method: A retrospective, non-experimental survey was distributed to 100 non-elite runners participating in the 2007 Flora London Marathon.
Results: Ninety-nine completed questionnaires were analysed (response rate = 99%). Forty-three per cent of participants sustained running-related injuries in the past year, predominantly to the knee/lower leg (48%) and back (21%). Thirty-seven per cent used CAM or non-CAM modalities alongside orthodox medical care. A further 37% used these without consulting their GP. CAM utilisation was 21%, with chiropractic (11%), massage (12%) and acupuncture (9%) being most utilised, particularly for back/low back pain, knee/ankle and lower limb soft tissue injuries. Most users recommended treatments received, and 84% would like to see CAM available on the NHS. The majority perceived CAM, including chiropractic, as beneficial and reasonable in cost.
[Conclusion]: Runners use CAM for treatment of specific running injuries, as well as injury prevention and enhancement of general well-being. Utilisation appears higher than reported levels for the general population and there is a high level of satisfaction with CAM. Further research is indicated to investigate clinical efficacy of CAM modalities for specific running-related injuries.
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