If you have been hitting the gym frequently, revving up your regular runs, or even participating in a few fitness competitions, you may not realize that the few aches and pains you have might require a little more attention.
There is a fine line between pushing yourself and overdoing it to the point of injury. Some indicators that you are working out a little too hard include:
- Needing to rest longer than usual.
- Feeling fatigued.
- Disrupted sleep.
- Feeling irritable/moody.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Feeling sore muscles or heavy limbs.
- Getting overuse injuries.
Dr. Jennifer Dour, D.C. chiropractor and founder of Garden State Spinal Care L.L.C. says, “You need to take your aches and pains seriously when it becomes part of your life and changes how you take on your day. Especially if you are avoiding activities because you know it will hurt, that’s when you know it’s time to do a little research and find a provider that works for you. Pain can be anything from driving, playing with your kids or even sleeping. Don’t ignore pain if it messes with your happiness.”
A physical therapist can evaluate and record a patient’s progress. They assist with improving injuries by improving movement and offer pain management options. Additionally, a physical therapist is a great option for preventive care, rehabilitation, and treatment for patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries. Dr. Jen says “I love physical therapists. We both have a place in this world while working side by side to make you get better even quicker, but we treat the body a little differently.”
In some cases, a general practitioner may recommend a physical therapist if the pain is persistent. During your initial visit with a physical therapist, your PT will determine your pain with an orthopedic exam focused on the area of pain. They will also inquire about your condition, previous level of function, and how your pain may or may not be disrupting your everyday life activities. Measurements will be taken to work on balancing the body area or joint with stretching and strengthening.
Below are some indications that you may need to seek out a physical therapist or chiropractor:
- Your range of motion is limited.
- You might be experiencing frequent headaches.
- Chronic pain in your joints or muscles.
- You are healing from a recent accident.
- You experience a decrease in strength.
When you first visit a chiropractor you will most likely experience what is called an adjustment. This is a quick and painless process. Lying on a table the chiropractor will push, pull or twist your body in order to identify and repair misalignments in your spine.
Dour says “As a chiropractor, I’m treating you and your body holistically. We are looking for a source of the pain that might not necessarily be what pains you. I’m going to talk to you about your job, your routine, YOUR STRESS then we will look at your posture as well as do an orthopedic and neurological exam to determine treatment for you.”
It really depends on your needs, a physical therapist helps you perform stretches and exercises, to help improve your mobility and restore function. Chiropractors perform manipulations and adjustments to help your body heal itself.
In both settings, both the physical therapist and chiropractor will work on your soft tissue as well as an exercise program. Dr. Jen says that “some chiropractors don’t prescribe exercise but I definitely do. Physical therapists will focus on strengthening the area of pain while a chiropractor will use the adjustment and the exercises to balance the brain/body connection.”
At the end of the day don’t ignore the pain you may be feeling and decide what course of action you think you need to take care of your body.