You were shoveling during the ice storm over MLK weekend, tweaked your back and came into the office for treatment. Over the last several weeks, you've been seeing great results. You have been incorporating the at home exercises and advice you have been given. In the last few weeks, you've been able to get into a normal routine with exercise, travel, coaching for kids activities and day to day activities without symptoms.
If you are like most people we see, you have an extremely busy and active lifestyle. Working out several days per week- yoga, tennis, lifting weights, running, Pilates, HIIT classes, long walks, mountain biking, hiking, golf, etc. Along with your normal exercise routine, you probably also juggle work, kids, pets, in-laws, house chores, cooking and various obligations.
In a perfect world, we would love for everyone to be taking a 30 minute walk every day, perform 5-10 minutes of preventative movement throughout the day, and actively exercise for 45-60 minutes 3-4 days per week. Movement is medicine and motion is lotion. The more you move, the better you feel and getting quality motion throughout your body is the best prevention for musculoskeletal complaints.
That being said, there are always some small barriers to the quality of the motion. Over time, adhesions form throughout the body and repetitive motions can create negative feedback loops for dysfunction. In a body that is meant for function, we as a society have never been more stagnant.
Sitting at the dining table having our morning coffee. Sitting in the car on the way to work OR through car pool OR BOTH. Sitting at the computer or desk for work. Sitting at the dinner table. Sitting watching TV to relax in the evening.
Now I know what your thinking, I don't sit that much. I am constantly moving around the house or at work on a job site or in the studio. Who is the person who gets to sit all the time?
Standing all day long is not great for the body either. In both cases, muscles get very tight and stiff. As a whole, most people are very tight in their hips and shoulders. The four corners of our Core or Center. The trunk of the body is extremely important for support and stability. If there is any dysfunction in the center, there is a greater likelihood that there will be pain or dysfunction further away from midline.
That is where we come in. If you have been to our office for treatment, you know how a typical treatment session goes. All of our providers main goal is to decrease dysfunctional patterns through manual release work and to increasing blood flow to our primary stabilizing tissues. Getting body work done on a semi regular basis is something we all do ourselves and also recommend to our patients.
So, how often should I come in?
Generally getting some form of body work done at least once per month is a great starting point. We have some patients who need us a little more during the peak of their sport season. i.e. tennis, golf and baseball athletes currently. If you have had a lot of procedures done throughout your life time, more frequent treatment may also be needed due to scar tissue formation. Do you have multiple areas that bother you? That is also a good indication that you need more regular care.
We have a large patient base who enjoy to train and compete. During training, getting regular body work done helps to increase performance and make training more effective. The reason for this is because you are breaking down muscle tissue and gaining better tolerance to a variable heart rate. This is very true with our higher level runners. Running is a great form of exercise when performed in moderation. But we get it, you have a runners itch and you love to run. Many in the runner population benefit to body work every 2-3 weeks.
What about teens and kids? We do treat young athletes. Most of the time, kids respond to treatment for acute discomfort very quickly. As they age and begin to play on multiple teams, add in weight lifting and agility work, along with general growth in the later teen years, these kids are also needing some maintenance care but maybe only every 6-8 weeks.
What if I am doing all of my exercises at home and exercising regularly along with following at at home guidelines? We do get some patients who do well with a 6-8 week break between sessions. If you are following all of our guidelines but work 60-70 hour work weeks or travel by plane/car overnight often or do very high intensity exercise like CrossFit/30 miles or more per week of running, this schedule won't likely work for you. Stress in the body creates restriction and adhesion. We are here to reduce those restrictions and keep you as active as you would like to be.
Unlike many chiropractic offices, we pride ourselves that you won't need us once per week for the rest of your life. We however also understand how beneficial it is to have areas of tension and tightness address on a regular basis. Through proper home care regimens and variable exercise, our goal is to help you feel your best to ensure that you will be able to move how you want to, for as long as you want to.
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Until next time,