This is one of the most common questions that I get in the office and it might cause some confusion among patients but there is a simple way to look at it.
“Do I need to get an adjustment before or after my workout?”
The vast majority of people believe that they should get adjusted after exercise but let’s think about this. In the early stages of treatment, we are working on getting a patient out of pain by removing the nerve pressure from the spine. Once the pressure is released, the patient will feel better but there is still a misalignment between the bones of the spine that can find the nerve.
Also, the muscles that are attached to the spine are not completely balanced so if a patient goes for a workout before an adjustment then the initial spinal complaint could slightly worsen if he/she waits to get adjusted after a workout. By coming into get treated prior to a workout, the misalignment of the spine continues to get corrected to by giving the joints proper motion.
This allows the muscles to relax and helps avoid any possible strain during exercise.
Another benefit to getting adjusted prior to your workout is the adjustment allows your body to operate closer to its optimum potential by alleviating more pressure off of your central nervous system, also known as the CNS. This system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord and controls your entire health potential.
By getting adjusted, this allows the CNS to have proper nerve flow from your spinal cord to flow to all of your cells, tissues and organs. The CNS is crucial in your workouts because your body enters the fight/flight response when it is being stressed from exercise. If the CNS is not sufficient, like the engine to a car, then the car cannot run.
By getting adjusted before the workout, you also allow your chosen exercise to act as a benefit as opposed to a stressor.
I know for some people there is no worse feeling than that of wasted time in the gym. In order for you to have the full effectiveness of the workout, you would need your central nervous system to be firing on all cylinders.
So, if you want the most out of your workouts then make those appointments with your chiropractor before exercising. Whether you are going to the gym, Crossfit box, yoga studio or hitting the pavement for a long run it’s always important to perform at your very best.