If you are a gym-goer, does that mean you are immune from illness and injuries? If you asked me this question even three years ago, I would say – YES! Exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself. I believed this so much that I became a personal trainer and made sure that people in my community were exercising.
However, while I was spending so much time working in different gyms, I started to question this. How come so many of the “regulars” still get sick and complain of pain?
Going through Chiropractic college, I would ask people at the gym if they would ever go to a Chiropractor for preventative health. The most common answer was, “That’s why I exercise – so I don’t have to go to a doctor.” I love that answer and I wish it were entirely true.
Movement is the key to life. This is a statement that every doctor, personal trainer, and physical therapist will agree to. That’s why regular physical activity makes so much sense as the way to optimal health. The bigger picture, though, is this: When you are exercising, are your joints (specifically in your spine) able to move through their full range of motion or are some of them restricted in motion? Motion restriction is common and often unknown until it starts causing more noticeable problems. Chiropractors call this a Subluxation and it can be caused by physical stress, emotional stress, and chemical stress (drugs, pesticides, processed foods, etc.).
Unfortunately, subluxations limit the benefits of exercise. Physical activity is meant to exercise your entire body, including all the joints and small, supportive muscles. If your body has created a subluxation in response to a stressor, it is not allowing movement into that area.
It doesn’t matter how much you workout, meditate, or stretch, that interference will exist until it is adjusted into its paraphysiological joint space (the yellow space on the picture below). Chiropractors have the unique and extensive training in detecting and correcting subluxations. Only then will exercise completely fulfill its purpose of full body movement.
It is most important to have full motion in the spine since nerves and discs are located within it. For nerves, lack of motion in the spine means interference with the transmission of messages. DD Palmer, the founder of Chiropractic, likened it to a foot stepping on a garden hose. The water is there and trying to get through but is being blocked by the pressure of the foot.
For discs, lack of motion in the spine means lack of hydration. Discs rely on the pumping mechanism that the spine is designed to provide. This supplies the discs with water, which is absolutely necessary for disc health, strength, and pliability. Without water, discs become weak and at risk for herniation.
To maximize the benefits of exercise, whether it is running, yoga, tennis, swimming, etc. make sure your spine is free of subluxations. Physically active people who also receive Chiropractic care notice faster recovery times, improved endurance and strength, and stronger immune systems.
Stay Healthy, Stay Strong, Stay Active!