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In a common occurrence, you bend over to pick up the pencil you inadvertently dropped on the floor. Or you bend over to pick up the soap bar that has slipped through your fingers in the shower. Or you bend over to lift a bag of groceries out of your automobile trunk. These are all daily events. But on a certain day, at a certain time, during one of these innocuous activities you suddenly experience a sharp, excruciating, grabbing pain in your lower back. You might be unable to fully straighten up after such an episode, and it might take a week or more for you to recover completely. In the meantime, you have a lot of pain and it seems as if the slightest movement causes substantial discomfort. You may say to yourself that you'll do anything to avoid a recurrence of such a troublesome injury.
Fortunately, there is a great deal that we all can do to help ensure that our musculoskeletal system, specifically the spine and the associated spinal muscles and ligaments, is well-trained and functioning at high levels. A primary cause of lower back injuries is biomechanical dysfunction, and our preventive and rehabilitative efforts are directed toward restoring efficient and effective spinal and core biomechanics.
Regular vigorous exercise is essential in any program whose goal is to optimize biomechanical function. Ideally, your exercise program includes both strength training and cardiovascular exercise. By engaging in both categories of exercise, you enhance the benefits of each. Training effects include increased heart and lung capacity, slowed heart rate, increased strength and endurance, improved balance, increased mobility and agility, and increased ability to do various types of physical work.
These benefits are enhanced by incorporating dynamic warm-up activities in your exercise routine.1 A dynamic warm-up prepares your body to do vigorous exercise. Activities such as jumping jacks, squats, lunges, gluteus bridge, and the grapevine literally warm-up your muscles and joints and prepare your musculoskeletal system for your exercise session. As well, core exercises such as the plank, leg lifts, leg crossovers, and pushups train your abdominal muscles and back muscles, helping ensure you have a strong "center" from which to initiate all of your exercise activities.2,3
Getting regular chiropractic care helps ensure that you're obtaining the most benefit from the time and effort you spend exercising. By detecting and correcting spinal misalignments and removing sources of nerve interference, regular chiropractic care helps make sure that your spine is working properly and that your nervous system is free to effectively control and coordinate all your other physiological systems. In this way, regular chiropractic care helps you and everyone in your family exercise at peak capacity and enjoy ongoing health and well-being.
1. Asadi A, et al: The Effects of Plyometric Training on Change-of-Direction Ability: A Meta-Analysis. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 11(5):563-573 2016
2. Hoppes CW, et al: The efficacy of an eight-week core stabilization program on core muscle function and endurance: a randomized trial. Int J Sports Phys Ther 11(4):507-519, 2016
3. Bullo V, et al: The effects of Pilates exercise training on physical fitness and wellbeing in the elderly: A systematic review for future exercise prescription. Prev Med 75:1-11, 2015