By: Dr. Ryan Lee
Its that time of the year again, where we make the conscious decision to dust off our workout gear, join a gym, and begin working on those new year’s fitness goals! Everyone has a different fitness goal in mind. You may be wanting to trim down, while others may be wanting to gain lean muscle mass, or you might just want to maintain what you already have achieved. With the holidays behind us, now is the best time to start a workout routine and start achieving those health goals.
Whatever your fitness goal, there is one thing that can slow or even halt your progress in its tracks, a musculoskeletal injury. Nothing keeps you from the gym like a shoulder or knee injury. And as we all know, routine is the hardest thing to create and the easiest thing to break. A month or two out of the gym can result in lowered desire levels to try and get back in the gym again and achieve those fitness goals. So, here is some information about musculoskeletal injuries and how to prevent them so you can stick to those New Year’s fitness goals!
Musculoskeletal injuries are not specific to exercising or training but when we start a new workout routine, we put new physical stresses on our muscles and ligaments that our body may not be ready for. For example, you may want to keep up with other avid gym goers and attempt to lift as much weight as the person on the bench next to you and end-up injuring your shoulder or you may try keeping pace with the person on the treadmill beside you and boom, you’ve pulled a muscle.
Now simply, overdoing it, isn’t the only way we can injure our body. From long days at the office to doing repetitive motions at our jobs, we are creating bad biomechanics for our body. Biomechanics is defined as: the study of how the skeletal and musculature systems work under different conditions. One easy test for biomechanics in a human is by observing their gait, or, the way they walk. Looking at how a person walks can tell you a lot about the health of their hips, knees, and ankles, and can let you know if they are at a predisposition to get lower extremity injuries. If your line of work is creating bad biomechanics in your body, then you are already at a higher risk of getting musculoskeletal injuries when you add additional physical stresses to your body.
So, what can we do to prevent musculoskeletal injuries?
- First: if you have never worked out before, or you are trying something new, find a fitness professional that can assess your body and make a workout routine that will not only help you reach your fitness goals, but also will be safe for you. Learning proper lifting protocols can mean the difference in achieving your goals or sitting on the couch with an icepack due to injuring yourself.
- Second: Begin a stretching routine. It is great to have a daily stretching routine before work, but you want to give yourself about a five to ten-minute stretching routine that focuses on the muscles you worked out that day to avoid any muscle strains.
- Third: Have your body assessed by your chiropractor: When your body has created some bad biomechanics from your job or even past traumas like car accidents or slips and falls, you put yourself at a higher risk for getting musculoskeletal injuries. Your chiropractor will evaluate the spinal joints and even the joints of your shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, etc., to see if there are any joints that are not moving as they should and correct those joint fixations to allow for full and healthy ranges of motion. When the joints of your body are working as intended, you are much less likely to injure them during workouts and you can achieve greater strength gains. So, go get your spine checked today!
No matter what your fitness goal is, remember that it is a marathon and not a sprint. Start small and work your way up from there. Be sure to stretch often and learn proper lifting mechanics from a fitness professional. More injuries occur from not knowing the signs our bodies are trying to tell us, so be sure to listen to your body, especially if you are experiencing pain in a joint or in your back. If you are experiencing pain while working out, go and get checked out by your chiropractor so you don’t have to wait till next year to achieve your New Year’s fitness goals!
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are ready to get back to your favorite activities and enjoying time with your friends and family, please click the link below to schedule an appointment and learn more!
Give us a call at (423)-498-3400 today to see how chiropractic care can help you too!
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Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.
Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here. *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.