I had a recent conversation with a patient a few weeks back about getting a personal trainer. His concern was that the aggressive workouts he performed with the trainer were going to “throw his adjustments off.” Basically undoing what we worked so hard to accomplish over the past few weeks. Exercises performed with proper technique should not undo the adjustments. However, when an exercise is performed with poor technique then you become more susceptible to injury and this will for sure “throw off the adjustments.”
This blog post has nothing to do with proper exercise or lifting techniques in the gym, I will differ to personal trainers and certified weight lifting coaches for that. What I want to discuss here is how a trainer or weight lifting coach and specific correction chiropractic can work together to help you get the best results from their workouts.
Lets face it, if you injured your back, neck or any other part of your body in the gym you have a lot of options when it comes to treatment. Everything from over the counter medications, massage, foam rolling, and stretching. The list goes on and on. But why would you want to see a chiropractor, especially a specific correction chiropractor? Much less why would you want to incorporate chiropractic into your regular wellness lifestyle? Well the answer to that is quite simple yet most people may not realize it. In order to illustrate this lets use a simple analogy.
Let’s use a house as an example of how the musculoskeletal system works. Lets say that the lights in each room of the house represent a specific muscle group of your body. For example, the upstairs rooms represent the upper extremity muscles and the first floor rooms the lower extremity muscles. Let’s say that when the lights are turned on the muscles are contracting and when the lights are off the muscles are relaxing. Now if you were going to lift some weight off the floor and press it over head (clean and jerk) you would want to engage certain muscles in a specific sequence in order to accomplish this. Everything must progress in a natural order to accomplish the movement. Its like cleaning your kitchen floor. First you move the rugs, then sweep, then mop. It wouldn’t make much sense to mop then move the rugs.
A personal trainer or weight lifting coach would go into this house and make sure that the lights are turning on and off in the correct order or sequence. This is very important when lifting weights or performing any physical activity. When muscle groups (i.e. the lights of each room) are turned on or off in the wrong order injury can and most likely will occur.
Now you may be wondering how does specific correction chiropractic fit into this. First of all, its important to know that when it comes to activating muscles it isn’t as simple as on or off, so in reality its more like a dimmer switch. So the light can be on but not at 100% in other words a muscle can flex, contract and relax at 85% as opposed to 100%. When this occurs the individual may not even realize they have this reduced contractibility.
Using this house example, my goal as a specific correction chiropractor is to make sure the dimmer switches of each light is working at their full capacity and the circuit breakers to the house are turned on. If you’ve ever experienced weakness in one extremity then you know what I mean. The nerve communication to the weak extremity is reduced, the dimmer is turned down. Instead of 100% nerve transmission perhaps its closer to 85%, and as such one side is weaker than the other. You can activate this muscle and exercise it all you want. You may even make strength gains and improve. However, because the dimmer is reduced you are not functioning to full capacity and will not be equal in strength from side to side. You may be wondering what affects the nerve communication in our body. The blockages in the nervous system that reduce our ability to transmit messages are segmental displacements in the spinal column.
Not only do these blockages reduce this communication but research shows that it can cause other health problems as well. Secondary conditions like headaches, neck pain, back pain, numbness and tingling, sciatica and even digestive and breathing problems may result from blockages in the nervous system. Specific Correction Chiropractic care will help any active person whether it be the weekend warrior training for a 5k or the seasoned weight lifter performing at the competitive level.