Chiropractic Adjustment Before or After Exercise?

Chiropractic Adjustment Before or After Exercise?

A common question we often get is if a patient should get a chiropractic adjustment before they work out or after. Although there are many different types of exercise and different concerns for each individual patient, certain concepts remain the same.

What others say

Most chiropractors will tell you that exercise after chiropractic adjustment is a better option.  The reason for this is many fold, BUT the simplest explanation is that your body MOVES better after an adjustment.  

If you have been having pain then an adjustment can reduce that pain allowing you to perform better during exercise.  Decreased pain along with increased flexibility of the spine helps to decrease the time it takes you to warm up as well as allowing muscles to move through a full range of motion which is very important during exercise.

Second, muscles attached to the spine should be balanced in order for you to be healthy. If you’re having painful symptoms that your chiropractor is working to alleviate, then working out before the adjustment can make symptoms but more importantly imbalance, worse. When you come in to get treated before a workout, your joints and muscles can be better balanced.

Finally, when you’re adjusted before exercise, it helps your muscles to relax, which can then help you to avoid injury. Chiropractic adjustments not only allow the joints and muscles to move better but also help the nervous system to better coordinate complex movements.  Your brain is forced to orchestrate hundreds of muscles at a time during some exercises and the mistiming of the sequence of movements can be a cause of injury.

The flip side

While making sure that your body is moving properly before beginning exercise is very important, decreasing the tension on muscles can potentially be dangerous.  Your body’s innate protection mechanism to prevent further injury to the spine is to increase muscle tension to the para-spinal muscles and “core muscles”.  Many personal trainers and chiropractors agree that without the proper amount of tension in those muscles you are at an increased risk of injury specifically during heavy lifting exercises.  Just as we don’t want too little motion in the spine, we equally don’t want too much motion especially under load as in heavy lifting.

Our verdict?

The type of exercise you intend to participate in may play a role on the best time to be adjusted.  Although just a general guideline, my recommendation would be to get a chiropractic adjustment at our Orlando office before aerobic (cardio) exercise and to get adjusted AFTER anaerobic (lifting) exercise.  Whether you are a seasoned gym rat or just starting your journey towards health through exercise we can help.  Give us a call (407) 982-7733 and we can tailor a chiropractic and massage plan near downtown Orlando to help you towards your goals pain free.

About Dr. Merrill

headshot of Dr merrill
Dr. Andrew Merrill is a passionate active clinician and owner of Nightlight Chiropractic Orlando where him and his team treat hundreds of patients each month. With a strong background in exercise science from Stetson University, clinical skills from Palmer College of Chiropractic, and continued postdoctoral training in spinal disc injuries and clinical nutrition, Dr. Merrill is very well versed in the healthcare landscape. With topics ranging from "what to do for common ailments" to "why the medical system is failing you" Dr. Merrill and this blog in particular aim to keep readers up to date on what the research shows and how you can put it into practice NOW to keep yourself healthy for a lifetime.