Exercise and Chiropractic Care
By Edwin Chun, D.C. - Chiropractor, Lifestyle Nutritionist
Exercise is such a great prescription for better health that many times we just want to keep going with it. But pain with exercise is very common and it’s a topic that comes up in discussion in my office with my patients and their continued CHIROPRACTIC care.
Having over 3 years of experience as a master-level personal trainer in addition to my chiropractic training has helped me to determine when it’s important to listen to pain signals from your body when working out.
Certain kinds of pain can be normal when performing exercises, but they need to be specified, as pain is a broad concept, and is different to each person. Things like exhaustion, discomfort, and soreness in recovery are very normal with vigorous workouts. The degree of any of these types of pain is important to monitor and should be something for each individual to determine if it’s normal for their experience.
For example, a long-distance runner is going to be able to run many miles and be ok with the soreness afterwards but that would not be right for someone just starting out, especially if they are older. However, if that long distance runner suddenly notices an increase in the amount of their normal day to day pains related to exercise that would be a signal to get it checked out.
So, what are the most important signals for people to pay attention to with pain in exercise. First, if the pain signal is something different that you never experienced before that would be a good reason. New injuries are usually something that patients don't experience with their normal exercise.
Secondly, pain intensity. If the pain is severe and really catches your attention that would be a good reason to stop the activity and possibly get it checked out. Next, lasting or continuing pain even if the pain decreases a lot as far as intensity is a good reason to seek care or learn to do some self-care. This one gets a lot of people because people think that the pain will go away and/or they will get used to it, but that can become a problem if there was an injury as the body needs TIME to be able to HEAL. Many times, people go back to exercising and that can cause further injury or create a CHRONIC ongoing problem.
So, when is it safe to keep exercising when having some pain? The best answer is to try it out! Start slowly and see how your body feels. If you can perform the exercise without any INCREASED pain, then you may be ok but be sure to WARM UP before exercise with some stretching and breathing first. Also, be HONEST and listen to your body if you notice the pain increasing with a workout then it’s better to stop to avoid injury.
When in doubt, get professional care from someone like a CHIROPRACTOR who is a primary care provider that will be able to diagnose your condition and provide you with care.