Gym / Sports Injuries

It's important to lift weights safely and correctly.

It’s important to lift weights safely and correctly.

Tops tips from the Aldgate chiropractor

First discuss with your chiropractor the most appropriate exercise, to make sure it is beneficial and wont hinder your recovery.

Regular exercise is important and helps improve:-

  • Physical fitness
  • Brain function
  • Cardiovasular health
  • Mood
  • Quality of life

To sustain regular ‘workout sessions’ it is important to find something you enjoy:-

  • Group/ Team sports
  • Taking a leisurely walk
  • A structured gym session

All of these activities improve physical fitness, ability to function and quality of life, but only if done regularly.

I would always recommend you consult an experienced trainer who specialises in your chosen exercise to teach you the correct posture to minimise the chance of injury. This is an art in itself and some trainers are more experienced at observing this than others. For instance drilling the correct squat technique can help you to strengthen your back, whereas poor technique could lead to a nasty injury such as a ‘slipped disc’. Don’t forget picking up and putting down the weights correctly is just as important in injury prevention.

Free Weights

The benefits to using free weights is hugely underestimated, it can provide a much more productive and functional workout than any machine. Machines are restrictive as they only work in one plane creating an unrealistic representation of how we should move and load our bodies. Please read the Aldgate chiropractors article The Importance of Physical Strength for more information. Ladies I know what you are thinking ‘I don’t want to look like a man’ but lifting weights doesn’t have to mean this.

Left: Bad weight lifting. Right: Good weightlifting posture.

Left: Bad weight lifting. Right: Good weightlifting posture.

People are often unaware how important good form is and how beneficial it is to invest time in drilling those movements before progressing to heavier weights. Increasing the weight too quickly often results in injury and means the correct muscles aren’t activated so you never achieve the results you are looking for. Instead you stress areas that aren’t designed to withstand those movements (such as spinal discs, joints and nerves), resulting in pain and injury.

Don’t be disheartened by reading this just be careful and sensible with your body. Have a read of my article here to see how important weights are for all of us (that includes you ladies).

Once you have established good technique, slowly build up the intensity of exercise. This is especially important when you have not been exercising regularly, take up a new sport or following injury.

Our Aldgate chiropractor Karen Habershon has experience working with many professional and amateur athletes including:-

  • New Zealand Rugby League team
  • Premiership footballers
  • London Wasp Colts
  • CrossFit athletes
  • Triathletes

What do amateur athletes forget when comparing themselves to professional athletes?

It’s a professionals athlete job to focus purely on their sporting performance. They have access to:-

  • Regular treatment – To address problematic areas and for preventative treatment
  • Strength and conditioning – Working on weaknesses, preventing injury
  • Nutrition – Providing their bodies with the building blocks to repair quickly and efficiently.
  • Adequate sleep – Studies have shown that good sleep is essential for optimal health and healing.
  • Body aware – Noticing subtle changes in their gait / alignment and addressing them

In comparison the amateur athlete has all these added stresses on their body:-

  •  Work stress
  • A quick hours blast in the gym which one week may be regular , then another non-existent
  • Often a non-existent stretching and strengthening regime
  • 8-12+ hours sitting at a desk or multiple hours lifting awkward items in more manual jobs
  • Amateurs usually wait until they are in severe pain before consulting a healthcare professional

What should we learn from this?

Prevention is far better than cure! You wouldn’t wait until your teeth fell out to see a dentist. So why wait until you are in agony to see a chiropractor?

What happens when we sit too long at work?

Upper-Cross Posture develops from poor posture muscles

Upper-Cross Posture develops from poor posture muscles

It’s very hard to sit well for more than 30 minutes, however many people sit for 8+ hours a day, something the human body just isn’t designed to do. So what happens to us when we do this?

We encourage an ‘upper-cross-posture’, the chest muscles become shortened / tight and the upper back muscles become weak and lax. This imbalance effects function as it encourages the body into a non-neutral posture and shoulders become forward drawn. Although exercise is very important a productive workout is even more important therefore good form is vital. The majority of our city based patients work at desks, which humans are not designed that well to do, hence why a 1 hour high intensity work out following a 8+ hour day at a desk frequently causes problems.

The culture in the city often gravitates toward a fast pace of life, with high stress levels which frequently lead to less healthy choices. When we are highly stressed with little spare time, other areas of our lives tend to get neglected such as eating, drinking water, exercising and sleeping.

It is time to take responsibility for your health and become aware of the stresses put on your bodies so you can take action and minimise them. Treatment with our Aldgate chiropractor can be a positive way to help promote a healthy functioning musculoskeletal system.

Here are some more blog posts by the Aldgate chiropractor to provide you with further information on different exercise and how to avoid injury.

Weight lifting – Avoiding a ‘Slipped Disc’

Why Ladies Should Lift Weights

The Importance of Physical Strength

 

For Sports Injury Treatment with the Liverpool Street / Aldgate chiropractor call us today 0203 633 0565 or email karen@khchiropractic.com

*Free 15 minute chat available on request