The New Year is well underway and along with it has come the expected wave of ambitious resolutions. We know this is the case, because we have seen the proof. Over this past week, several patients with reignited passion for their health and wellness have already come in seeking treatment for injuries sustained in exercise classes or at the gym. Following a crazy couple of months full of Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas cookies, and a never-ending to-do list, it makes perfect sense that these patients are eager to get back in the gym and back into shape. However, this ambition should come with a caution.
When people head to the gym without understanding their body, they are more likely to do exercises they see others doing (or ones that they learned in a group class) without regard for their own limitations. For example, if there is an imbalance such as pelvic rotation and/or elevated hip along with weak gluteal muscles, the patient can lack the range of motion and stability necessary to do rotating exercises or deep squats. These types of exercises performed incorrectly can lead to low back injury, triggering of sciatic pain, or sacroiliac joint dysfunction. If a patient is suffering from rounded shoulders and a forward resting head or weakness in stabilizing muscles, exercises like lateral pull-downs, pull-ups, or bicep curls can lead to more sever shoulder and neck injuries.
If a patient had been previously been in shape and took a long break, they are often liable to push themselves to their previous limit without taking their regression into consideration. To add to this, as we have mentioned before, group exercise classes usually take a one-program-fits-all approach, spending little time focusing on the unique needs of each individual. Both of these instances build the perfect foundation for creating further imbalance and injury.
Prior to jumping back into your old routine or creating a brand new one, it can be helpful to undergo a comprehensive postural and functional evaluation. This will help bring any potential deterrents to light and allow you to move more smoothly move toward your resolutions. By determining if there are any misalignments, short and overactive muscles, or are weak and underactive muscles, an exercise regimen can be prescribed to make sure you are doing the most effective exercises for your unique body.
Pilates can be a great place to start. A certified Pilates instructor can help you achieve the necessary alignment and stability that will enable you to perform more dynamic, weight-bearing exercises without causing injuries. Chiropractic care can help straighten out any kinks from long holiday travel or too much time spent lounging around. Acupuncture and massage can help further facilitate alignment and strength, get rid of any tightness, and get you started into the rest of the year on the right foot.
Before jumping back into your old routine or creating a new one, consider coming in for an evaluation! We can get you set on the path to achieving your 2019 resolutions while keeping your body in the proper shape to continue with challenging and energizing resolutions for years to come.