That’s something you have heard ad nauseam for years: exercise for health.
I am here to tell you that is TRUE! (as if you needed another person validating the importance of exercise for health..). Yes, exercise is good for you. However, exercise is a stress (a physical one), and when the spine is misaligned because of subluxation(s), the additional stress of exercise on a subluxated spine, can cause more damage and dysfunction.
In our office, we preach about the 5 Factors of Health: 1) a clear nerve system, 2) regular exercise, 3) living diet and nutrition, 4) positive mental attitude, and 5) restorative rest.
We also teach that there are 4 main types of stresses that we face every day: 1) spiritual stress, 2) mental / emotional stress, 3) physical stress, and 4) chemical stress.
The factors of health are positive in nature, while the 4 stresses have a negative effect on our function. The better and more frequent you can attend to the factors of health, the better your body is going to function, and the more resistant to the negative effects of stress you will be. So, let’s all agree that exercise is good for you, but only when you are not subluxated.
What was this guys case anyway?
Glad you asked! This case actually started out as a shoulder impingement issue. We have a 38 year old male who initially was having shoulder issues, to the extent that he was having problems playing golf, lifting (Crossfit), and just participating in everyday ADL’s without pain. He had no history of trauma to his shoulder or arm either.
After taking x-rays of his neck and low back, we discovered an issue with his T12/L1/L2 that was changing his posture. As his thoraco-lumbar spine lost its normal alignment, his upper back posture was changing as well. The changes to his back were producing compensatory changes in his shoulder and upper back. In this case, the issue was never with his shoulder, as much as his shoulder biomechanics changing due to his low back alignment.
So what’s the Big Deal / Big Idea?
Our bodies are what is known as a “kinetic chain”: kinetic = movement, chain = connected. So what happens in one area, will often affect the function in another area. His lumbar subluxations were affecting how his cervical (neck) and thoracic (upper back) were functioning. Now, there were subluxations in his neck as well, but they didn’t have the same biomechanical affects on his shoulder as his lumbar spine subluxations did.
Correcting his lumbar subluxations restored Quality of Life (QOL) factors!
We completed a simple 3 month care plan with him. When you are incorporating the 5 factors of health, your body responds to chiropractic care much faster. The benefits of structural correction chiropractic care are accelerated when you do your part in providing good stress to your body. Not only did his shoulder pain resolve, but he was able to return to his preferred workout regimen (Crossfit), as well as playing golf without pain. He gained function, which has had a direct effect on his QOL.
Let’s get back to how we started this conversation in the first place. Isn’t exercise good for you. When you are subluxated, the physical stress on the spine is already increased. When you throw the physical stress of exercise, especially a hard, high intensity training like Crossfit, the physical stresses increase exponentially. This additional stress causes the discs and the bones to wear away much faster than they were designed to. When you are adjusted and in proper alignment, your body can deal with the 4 stresses better, without breaking down as fast.
Getting checked for subluxation regularly, keeps your spine in alignment, which helps your nerve system adapt to stress better, allowing you to adapt to life better. We never told him he had to stop exercising. We were able to help him participate in his preferred Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) as intensely and frequently as he wanted. The same can be said for you!