The benefits of regular exercise are supported by decades of research and anecdotal evidence. Regular physical activity can boost circulation in the body, improve strength, increase immune function, produce brain-boosting endorphins and chemicals associated with improved mood, increase muscle mass, and contribute to enhanced flexibility and mobility.
While most people are familiar with the benefits of regular exercise, many don’t realize that there are ways to substantially boost the results they are receiving from their exercise program. In some instances, exercise-boosting practices can multiply the effectiveness of a workout program by several times. Some exercise-enhancing best practices are already well known, like incorporating rest days, staying hydrated, making time for consistent and high-quality sleep, and utilizing supplements which enhance the body’s ability to produce and sustain muscle.
Chiropractic care is another way to enhance the effectiveness of an exercise program. Chiropractic care works on the neuromusculoskeletal system, which comprises the nervous system, the muscular system, and the skeletal system. Additionally, chiropractic care produces an indirect effect on the immune system, which is also significantly implicated in the body processes which occur as the result of exercise and muscle development.
A skilled chiropractor can craft an individualized treatment plan which is customized to support your individual workout plan. This plan may include weekly (or more frequent or infrequent) visits, specific interventions intended to improve alignment or maintain muscle relaxation, and prescribed stretches and movements meant to decrease the strain that is occurring as the result of your exercise regimen.
Effects on the Nervous System
Chiropractic care has a balancing effect on the nervous system. This occurs when treatment is delivered, allowing pressure to be removed from compressed, bruised, and severed nerves. Chiropractic care can decrease and eliminate sciatic pain, as well as chronic or acute pain originating from inflamed muscles, joints, and tissues.
In the context of exercise, nerve pain often originates as the result of vigorous movement. Swelling and inflammation in the body (particularly around the perimeter of recently used muscles) can cause nerves to become inflamed or compressed. Misalignment in the spinal structure and joints can also occur as the result of strenuous exercise, particularly when weight lifting is involved. This can also constrict or pinch nerves, contributing to well-known sciatic pain which manifests as a shooting pain originating in the lower back and shooting down the back of the legs and gluteal muscles.
Chiropractic care for the nervous system can help reduce pain and discomfort, improve physical responsiveness, decrease inflammation, and improve immune function.
Effects on the Muscular System
The muscular system is heavily influenced by the effects of chiropractic care. Manual chiropractic manipulation can release tense and strained muscles, decrease muscular knots, and reduce pain in inflamed muscles that have recently been utilized during exercise. The muscular system is interconnected with the nervous and skeletal systems, meaning that is also supported when these systems are treated.
Chiropractic care for the muscular system can decrease muscle tension, remove muscular knots, accelerate muscle repair, and improve exercise performance and outcomes.
Effects on the Skeletal System
The skeletal system is at the foundation of all physical movements and activities, and as a result, it plays a critical role in physical exercise, recovery, and continued development of strength and musculature.
When an expert chiropractic treatment is delivered to the spine and skeletal structure, it works to help rebalance and realign the system. Chiropractic care also addresses the joints, which are affected by all forms of exercise and physical activity. The joints are commonly misaligned during exercise routines, especially in the case of weight bearing or lifting activities. As muscle strength increases over time, joints are less likely to take the brunt of impact from weight lifting and weight bearing activities, but at the onset of an exercise regimen, joint misalignment can be a common outcome.
Chiropractic care for the skeletal system can realign bones and joints, decrease muscular strain, improve posture and form, reduce or eliminate pain in the knees, wrists, and shoulders, and increase the body’s capacity for carrying additional weight healthfully.
To reap the most benefit from chiropractic care in the context of boosting exercise outcomes, your visits to the office must be regular. Just as your exercise routine is scheduled on a regular basis, your office visits should be, too. This allows your body to receive constant support from expert treatments and provide you with the most benefit.
While a single treatment (or inconsistent treatment) may produce noticeable reductions in pain, inflammation, and stiffness, regular treatments will produce the most impactful effects, as they allow the benefits to build over time. A regular routine of chiropractic care is more likely to enhance your stamina, strength, resilience, and performance, multiplying endurance outcomes and accelerating your rate of recovery on rest days and over time.
Keep Your Chiropractor Informed
To receive exercise and performance-related benefits from your chiropractic care, you must keep your chiropractor informed of your goals and your style of physical activity. The more your chiropractor knows about the types of exercise you engage in, the more able they will be to provide treatment which is customized for your specific needs.
If you experience an injury or strain during an exercise session, or if a specific part of your body seems to be recovering at a slower rate than the rest of your body, it is important that you inform your chiropractor. This way, they can survey your posture and stance, determine what may be imbalanced, and discover other areas of the body that may be over-straining to compensate.
Time Your Sessions Appropriately
Discuss with your chiropractor what days of the week are best for your treatment. Depending on the type of physical activity you engage in, you may be advised to seek care on your rest days, or conversely, on the same days that you work out. Your appointments may be scheduled prior to or after your workouts. Consult your chiropractor to determine the best timing for your treatments.
Know Your Goals
Movement and exercise practices are as unique and varying as each individual. People often have differing goals for their regimens, ranging from increasing flexibility and agility to building strength, endurance, and perceptible muscle mass. Identify your goals and share them with your chiropractor. Depending on the purpose of your exercise routine, your treatment may vary to support your specific objectives.
Aim for Injury Prevention
While most people seek out a chiropractor after they’ve already strained their back, pulled a muscle, herniated a disc, or have been suffering from neck and back pain, there is a better way—aim for injury prevention.
If you develop a chiropractic care plan with your chiropractor and seek regular treatment, you are engaging in injury prevention. This can help increase the effectiveness of your workouts, eliminate delays required for healing and recovery, and boost your overall wellness, endurance, and progress.
Always Follow Best Practices
In order to make the most of both your chiropractic care and your exercise routine, be sure to always follow best practices. With regard to physical activity, consult an expert physical therapist, trainer, or medical doctor. Your expert chiropractor will provide further guidance on how to use your care to bolster and support your exercise goals.
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