Working Out While Hurt or Injured

Posted: June 8, 2012 in Uncategorized
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This topic seems to come up quite a bit. This is advice I need to take into account myself. I understand it is difficult to listen to our bodies and understand that working out too much is a bad thing. We can not run away from stress and poor food choices.

Too often we take part in inappropriate physical activity when we feel hurt or we are injured. This is a really bad thing on a number of different levels. Firstly, pain alters movement. This is a defense mechanism to allow us to escape a predator. The problem is we are now more sedentary then ever and this causes musculoskeletal change and associated pain. Once our movement patterns are altered all kinds of bad things begin to happen.

Our central nervous system loses the ability to recruit muscular motor units at a high frequency. Ever been sore from a week of working out and realize you don’t run as fast or jump as high? This si what is happening. Add months and years on top of that and we have some serious issues brewing. We also lose the ability to co-activate the antagonist (opposing) muscle group. Also, due to the inability to properly contract the muscle, the muscle will eventually atrophy, become stiff, and lose range of motion. This then throws our central nervous system into another downward spiral. Constant improper movement will eventually lead to connective tissue wearing out, more pain, and more limited movement. This is where assistive devices such as wheel chairs, walkers, etc become a part of us.

None of us want to be in this situation. We need to go to the gym and train our bodies to move properly so that we can age gracefully and not painfully. Pain is not part of getting older, but instead it is an accumulated effect of poor posture and movement patterns.

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