Happy herniated disc season! Yes, the holidays lead straight into one of the busiest time of years for those treating injuries. Forty-one percent of Americans make new year’s resolutions, and according to some estimates, a whopping 39 percent of those resolutions include weight loss, self-improvement and more exercise. While these are all great goals, it’s the implementation that gets tricky.
Herniated Disc – An Industry Issue
It’s no wonder the health club industry promotes their services in late December and early January. It’s an annual $21.8 billion industry in the U.S. An estimated 273,000 trainers promote helping you reach your goal. How many are they properly trained to keep you and your back safe? The sad answer in most cases is no. Even the website for the American Council for Exercise displays an image of a personal trainer couching a twisting movement to a client while the spine is under load. This high-risk exercise often leads to disc bulges and herniation.
Unfortunately, we see that all too often at my gym. Clients pay hundreds of dollars for personal training sessions, while an unexperienced or undereducated trainer increases the risk of a lower-back injury because they are not aware or don’t understand spinal mechanics. In addition, Olympic lifting has become very popular as has HIT or High Intensity Training. Sadly too many “trainers” who don’t know what they are doing put people at risk. Just look at the sadness demonstrated in this clip. You don’t need to be a spine expert to see that the movement mechanics are all wrong.
Solid, Strategic Solutions
- Have clear targets in mind when setting your exercise goals.
- Find a trainer that is certified and works with clients of your age group.
- Have them assess your movement capacities to see which exercises work best for you.
- Develop a workout program that meets your specific capabilities and goals.
- Question exercises and stretches that require your spine to be flexed, extended, or rotated especially under load (including body weight load).
Avoiding a herniated disc or other exercise-related injury should be right up there with those healthy new year’s goal. Prioritize not only looking good, but feeling great as well. Make certain you look comprehensively at all areas of your health, including musculoskeletal. Incorporating chiropractic care is another great step to a healthier lifestyle. Make your appointment now to start 2018 off right!