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The Mysteries of Injuries

A person with an exercise- or sports-related injury has many questions: When can I start exercising? When can I get back to my sport? What can I do to prevent this from happening again? The answers to these questions are relatively straightforward. But for some, injuries continue to happen. Which leads to the key question: Why did this happen to me?1,2

This is the hardest to answer. Some injuries may occur even when you're doing the things you're supposed to be doing. Sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and move on. But it's also very important to continue to try to discover the underlying causes.

If we dig deeper, we'll find that there are three main sources of training injuries: (1) under-preparation, (2) over-training, and (3) lack of focus or not paying attention.

Under-preparation means doing things you're not ready to do. People who have never done aerobic exercise go out and try to run five miles. People who have never done strength training go to the gym and try to lift weights that are too heavy. People who have never taken a yoga class go to one, like it, and then go every day for a week.

These exercise patterns can be dangerous, physically, and may directly lead to injury. A 16-year-old teenager has some leeway and can get away with making a variety of training errors. This may even be true for those who are in their mid-20s. But persons who are older need to train on a trajectory. Good principles to follow include starting slowly, starting with the basics, and making sure to include rest days in your training program. Build up your strength and stamina. Doing more than you're ready to do will send you straight to your chiropractor's office or even to the hospital.

Over-training means doing too much. Most of us are guilty of this. For example, you love to run, you build up your weekly mileage to a good level, but then you keep piling on distance. All of a sudden you've got a stress fracture in your leg or a bad strain of a calf muscle.

How do you know when you're over-training? The key is to train smart, and to be aware of the possibility of over-training. The temptation to do more is always there, but the result is never good. The short-term gratification is completely outweighed by the frustration and loss of conditioning resulting from injury-enforced down-time.

What about focus and paying attention? Many injuries happen during normal training because the person's mind wandered off. People pay more attention to the TV or to their incoming text messages than they do to the equipment they're using or the weight they're lifting. The result is an injury, sometimes a bad one. In fact, you're very unlikely to sustain an injury during normal training if you're completely focused. Maintaining focus is part of the discipline of training.

But even if a person is doing all the right things, aren't there underlying issues that may predispose that person to injury? The easy answer is "yes". The hard part is to accurately assess and possibly diagnose such issues.3

A big part of the assessment process is the acquisition of knowledge. In the realm of exercise and fitness, some personal knowledge of biomechanics can go a very long way toward preventing injuries. Your chiropractor can help you learn more about human biomechanics and physical performance.

1Chow JW, Knudsen DV: Use of deterministic models in sports and exercise biomechanics research. Sports Biomech 10(3):219-233, 2011
2Stergiou N, Decker LM: Human movement variability, nonlinear dynamics, and pathology: is there a connection? Hum Mov Sci 30(5):869-888, 2011
3Carter CW, Micheli LJ: Training the child athlete: physical fitness, health and injury. Br J Sports Med 45(11):880-885, 2011

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

    I have been going to Discover Life Chiropractic for 5 years. I am an athlete who went in with low back pain and some knee issues. It did take time but to this day I do not have low back pain or knee pain as long as I am staying healthy with periodic adjustments. Dr. Dave knows his stuff and is attentive to concerns (if you are feeling something make sure you tell him). I feel so aligned and feel like I am functioning at a high level each day. If I can, I like to use Dr. Daves partnering doctor for extremity adjustments (feet, arms, legs) he is exceptional especially with those! Like with anything you have to be consistent, can't just go 3 times and expect to be healed. Hope this was helpful! Best, Alex

    Alexandria B

    So... I have had back pain all my life and neck pain from a car accident causing severe and frequent migraines. Other chiropractors just did a "quick fix" that lasted a couple days at most. This chiropractor, David, has practically eliminated my neck pain and migraines and my back pain had decreased tons. Now usually when I have pain it is because I have bad posture or I need to stretch or build up muscle to keep my spine in place. I understand he can only do so much but to be pain free you have to put in work also. WITH ALL THAT SAID, the pain has gone down from constant to occasional and from severe pain to mostly mild and we are still working on it. Would recommend the chiropractic service there to anyone.

    Ken R

    I have experienced fairly sever neck pain for the last few years. Have been to my doctor, had ultrasounds etc. Nothing was working. I started going to David at Discover life a few months ago as a last resort to deal with the pain and the difference is amazing even with just this short amount of time. He explains everything very clearly and even has me doing stretching and work while at home. His staff is great and always friendly when I come in. I would highly recommend Discover Life Chiropractic.

    Jennifer D