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Exercising After An Injury

Woman experiencing back pain while exercising

Should You Exercise After an Injury?

When your muscles and joints are sore and strained from an injury, hitting the gym probably doesn't seem like a very good idea. Although full-out workouts could potentially worsen your condition, moderate exercise may be just what you need to speed the healing process.

How You Can Benefit from Exercise

For years, doctors advised patients with injuries to take it easy. Unfortunately, after spending a week or two on the couch, many people found moving difficult. During the recommended period of rest, muscles stiffened and scar tissue grew. Creaky, stiff joints slowed recovery time and made it more difficult to complete everyday tasks.

The truth is that exercise may actually help ease aches and pains while also reducing the length of your recovery.

Exercise helps:

  • Keep Your Muscles and Joints Limber and Flexible
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Decrease Scar Tissue Formation
  • Strengthen the Muscles That Support Your Joints
  • Improve Range of Motion
  • Enhance Balance
  • Prevent a Re-Injury
  • Improve Circulation

Things to Keep In Mind When Exercising

Check with your chiropractor before you begin exercising after an injury. He or she can advise you when it's safe to start working out again and recommend specific exercises. (If you have a heart condition, ask your cardiologist or family doctor if it's safe for you to exercise.)

Exercise after an injury involves gently working the injured area or keeping other areas of your body mobile and flexible if it's too soon to exercise a sore muscle or joint. If you hurt your ankle, concentrate on upper body exercises for a few days. Once your chiropractor approves, try adding walking, strengthening or low-impact aerobic exercises to your workout regimen.

Weight lifting is an excellent way to strengthen your muscles and help you avoid new injuries, but it should be approached with caution. If you don't decrease your usual weight load, you may worsen your injury. Start with light weights at first, and stop if you experience any pain. Talk to your chiropractor about the best way to begin or re-start a weight training regimen.

When back pain is the problem, exercises that don't strain your back or abdominal muscles or involve twisting can help keep your muscles and joints loose. Swimming, walking or riding a stationary bicycle can elevate your heart rate, improve blood flow, and increase mobility and range of motion. As healing progresses, your chiropractor may recommend exercises that strengthen and tone the muscles in your back and core.

In a study included in a systematic review published in Healthcare, low back pain sufferers who participated in aerobic exercise or strengthening exercises experienced a significant decrease in pain.

Chiropractic Care May Enhance the Effects of Exercise

Exercise is even more helpful when it's combined with chiropractic treatment. During treatments, your chiropractor may realign the vertebrae in your spine with hands-on manipulation. They may also use soft tissue mobilization or massage to loosen tight muscles and tendons.

During a systematic review conducted by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management Collaboration, researchers discovered that soft tissue therapy offered an effective way to treat tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and plantar fasciitis.

The effects of your treatment will last longer if you perform exercises to stretch and strengthen your muscles. Even minor muscle strains or stiffness can stress your back and alter the alignment of your spine, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.

It's important to exercise every day and only perform the exercises approved by your chiropractor. Don't increase the intensity or duration of your workout without approval. Starting a vigorous workout routine too soon can result in new injuries or worsening of your current injury.

Do you want to reduce your recovery time and learn the best exercises that won't further irritate your injury? Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

SPINE Health: Exercise and Chiropractic Therapy, 3/14/13

Ace Fitness: Getting Back to Fitness After an Injury

Healthcare: A Systematic Review of the Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Non-Specific Chronic Low Back Pain, 6/16

Manual Therapy: The Effectiveness of Soft-Tissue Therapy for the Management of Musculoskeletal Disorders and injuries of the Upper and Lower Extremities, 8/29/15

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    Great people -- friendly, caring, knowledgeable and accommodating. Doc Eulo and his staff do the job with the utmost of attention to patient needs and concerns. The range of services offered by this practice is considerable, including things beyond the ordinary chiropractics such as orthotic appliances with professional evaluation and fitting, dietary evaluations and supplements, and USDOT Physical Examinations for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.

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    Doc Eulo is nothing short of amazing. The staff is excellent. I said the same thing about them 21 years ago when I first starting going to Dr. Eulo. Back then he took care of me and my aching back when I was pregnant, and even adjusted my newborn!

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    Dr. Eulo is awesome, he worked on my aches and pains in my back and upper legs by exercising and massaging them within a 6 month period 3 times a week I can truly say I am pain free, his caring and kindness helps too. I was able to connect not also with him by with his family too, they treated me with loving kindness, I will never forget him and will recommend him to anyone who needs a good Doctor.

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    Dr Eulo is the best of the best and he is the coolest doctor that I know. August 2015 I was involved in a car accident, someone referred him to me, the first day I walked into his office I was in so much pain from my head to toe, I was a mess, three times a week for 6 months he was working on my aches and pains and I am here to tell you I'm pain free. Every time I walked in his office he put on my R & B Oldies did I say he was the coolest yes I did, he makes you feel very comfortable like one o

    - Constance G.

    Went to Dr. Eulo for treatment from an auto accident. The Dr. and his staff are very professional and makes your visit very pleasant. His knowledge and practice helped me very much with my injuries and I'm glad I chose Dr. Eulo as my chiropractor. If you're looking for a chiropractor, Eulo Chiropractic Center is the place to go!

    - William B.

    It is always a pleasure to go see Dr. Eulo. He is a very positive, caring and knowledgeable doctor. You will always leave his office with a smile on your face. His office is beautiful and the staff is very friendly and professional. Dr. Eulo has successfully treated me for a frozen shoulder when an orthopedic surgeon thought that I would need surgery. My shoulder is fine now thanks to Dr. Eulo. He has also treated me for severe back spasms when I could hardly walk. Within a few days of treatment

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    Dr. Eulo's treatments for my neck and back pain have been super helpful. He gives a thorough adjustment of neck, back and all joints and follows it up by a nice, relaxing massage bed. I leave the office feeling restored and like my body is back in it's best working condition. The office is neat and professional and Dr. Eulo is very down to earth, spends time with me and truly cares about my overall health. I've been to many chiropractors over many years, so I know a good chiropractor when I see

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    Dr. Eulo is the BEST chiropractor, hands down. The staff is friendly, the office is always clean, and Dr. Eulo is the nicest doctor. I have anxiety when it comes to doctors and going for "check ups" but Dr. Eulo makes me feel comfortable. I wish he could be my doctor for everything! I would recommend Dr. Eulo in a heart beat.

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