Soreness after a workout is normal. However, if you’re feeling more than muscle pain, such as spasms or tingling in your extremities, you may need chiropractic care. Working with a chiropractor to keep your spine in proper alignment as you increase your muscular make-up and your overall fitness will make it easier for you to stay on the fitness path.
That being said, your path to better health will be a lot less painful if you’re in proper alignment before you start. Get a thorough physical, and get your spine checked out. Your chiropractor may ask you to try some stretches and range of motion movements to demonstrate areas that need special attention.
Once you know you’re in proper alignment, make smart choices and investments in your fitness. Work with a personal trainer to build great form for whatever exercise plan you want to participate in. Start with easy classes, such as gentle yoga or beginning muscle pump. Be ready to be a little bit bored until proper form is a solid habit, then add more weight or a deeper pose.
Warming up is key to any exercise program. In fact sports chiropractic professionals note that the main source of sports injuries, whether from a hard hit or overuse, is from not warming up effectively. If your pickup basketball game is at 6 a.m., get there in time to walk a few laps, drink some water, stretch your upper and lower body as well as your spine, and even do some jogging to loosen up your feet, knees and ankles. Never step onto any field of play cold.
Pay special attention to your alignment. For example, if you try a new lifting move that strengthen your calves and are pretty sore the next day, shorten your stride and let those leg muscles warm up. Try to stay balanced from side to side. Limping on one side, such as a “long-short” movement, can be very hard on your low back and may lead to a jarring of the strong leg. Slow everything down, take some time to rest and do some gentle stretching if you can tolerate it.
Don’t cuddle up with your heating pad when you hurt. Part of the reason that your muscles are sore is that you’ve created tiny tears in the tissue that should, over time, lead to new muscle growth. However, these tears get inflamed, so they hurt. If you put heat on them, they get more inflamed. Any soreness should always be treated with RICE: Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. If this doesn’t clear up the pain in a day or two, let your chiropractor treat you with the other E, Electricity.
If you’ve ever suffered from muscle spasms, you know how severely painful it can be to have your muscles contract uncontrollably. Electrical Stimulation Therapy, or E-Stim, changes and controls how a stressed or damaged muscle contract. It can also help to release a seized muscle. Icing this area during E-Stim can do even more to reduce inflammation and reduce inflammation that builds up around an injury.
Be smart about your workouts. One day without knee pain isn’t an indicator that you’re ready for a 5k, and one day without back pain doesn’t mean it’s time to go lift weights. If you got hurt lifting weights, go back to the gym at the same time the next day and swim, or get on the recumbent bike and have a low-impact leg day. You can recover from a sports injury and keep up your regular workout schedule.
When your schedule gets crazy, split your workout into 10 minute bits. You may not have time to change clothes, but can you walk around the block or climb the stairs at your office for ten minutes? Keep moving, maintain your exercise goals, and use small bites of time to move your body through space until you can get back to the gym.
Rest when you’re tired. Stretch during and after your workout, and always start with a slow warmup. If you do feel a spinal pop or sense that something has shifted, stop your current activity and stretch for a final time, slowly and carefully without pushing past the early burn of the stretch. Make an appointment to see your chiropractor. Ready to get moving? We can help, call us now at 205-637-1363.