Beginning to exercise in the New Year is a great resolution. Often times we are discouraged from continuing our exercise because of an ache or a pain. We had no pain before we started our workout program. Is it possible that our exercise is causing us more harm than good? This can be the case, under certain conditions, so let’s explore several scenarios.
1. Back pain:
If you have a spine that is out of alignment, jogging or jumping rope would create downward pressure with each step or hop over the rope. This acts like a hammer banging a bent nail into a board. Have you ever tried to drive a bent nail with a hammer? What often happens to that nail? The same thing happens to your spine if it is bent out of alignment. Therefore, running and jumping rope are not good ideas in this case. Perhaps, swimming, cycling or using a non pounding elliptical machine would be a better way to get an aerobic workout. If you loved jumping rope or running ask your sports oriented chiropractor for ways to help this condition and allow you to run the races you desire.
2. Hip pain:
If a person has one hip higher than the other, exercise can cause hip pain. This shift and imbalance can be a physiologic result of a pelvic misalignment or an anatomical result of one side growing longer than the other. Both of these conditions will cause an imbalance in weight bearing, most commonly leading to the short side carrying more body weight than the longer side. If the short side is carrying 10 lbs more for 1,000 steps in a workout, that translates to 10,000 more pounds affecting that short side with each workout. Which side do you think will wear out faster? You can choose to stop working out or fix the problem and continue to work out towards your goals. The solutions are generally a heel lift for a person that has an anatomical imbalance which will create the balance necessary or if the person has a physiologic imbalance we can make the appropriate chiropractic adjustments necessary to create proper balance. Ask the sports oriented chiropractor, if you would like more information.
3. Knee pain:
Often happens when there is an upper lumbar misalignment, a pelvic misalignment or a foot imbalance. Your exercise can be causing you more harm than good if your knee pain is coming from anyone of these three issues. Often times we exercise in a linear plane, for example running a straight line, cycling in a straight line or swimming in a straight line. This creates repetitive linear motion of the spine, pelvis and feet which leads to knee pain. This repetition often causes excessive wear at the area between the spine, pelvis and feet which is the knee. You can attempt to vary your exercise to incorporate lateral or diagonal movements which can prevent injury that results from straight forward linear repetitive motion. If the varied directional exercise does not help, the underlying foot, pelvic or spine issue must be addressed. If the lumbar spine or pelvis is involved a specific scientific chiropractic adjustment is needed to re-align it. If the foot is involved, sometimes adjustments to the foot joints are necessary and a foot leveler spinal pelvic stabilizer support is needed. If the change in exercise does not work feel free to ask your sports oriented chiropractor.
These three common scenarios can often lead to your exercising causing more harm than good, unless you take the appropriate action. So let’s review them again.
- A bent mis-aligned spine can become worse with pounding type exercise like jogging or jumping rope. Switch your exercise or get your spinal mis-alignment fixed.
- Unbalanced hip levels can lead to premature wear and tear of your hip joints unless it is leveled out. Think of an unbalanced out of aligned car. If you leave the car in the garage and do not drive it, the tires will not wear out prematurely. Drive it and drive it hard and it will wear down quickly.
- Misaligned lumbar spine, pelvis or foot can often lead to knee pain. Add lateral and diagonal exercises to create greater balance of the musculature around the knee joints. If that does not change it, ask your sports oriented chiropractor about specific scientific chiropractic adjustments or spinal pelvic stabilizers.
Try these simple recommendations if faced with pain or challenges when participating in an exercise program; you will be surprised at how miraculous your body can respond.
Have a great workout while you move to improve your endurance, strength and structure!
Dr. Jordan Plasker