It is generally accepted that exercising is healthy. However, sometimes sports can be harmful. So, keep in mind, before engaging in any intense physical activity, you must get your musculoskeletal system evaluated.
Prepare your body before you engage in any physical activity
The human musculoskeletal system consists of more than 200 bones, about 650 different muscles, and approximately 230 different size joints. It is a very complex locomotor system that provides form, support, stability, and the ability to move and feel good. The characteristics of the muscles tend to change depending on human habits: long sedentary jobs, hard physical work, incorrect exercising, as well as inevitable aging of the body.
Before embarking on any sports activity, it is important to pay a visit to a physiotherapist and get your musculoskeletal system evaluated and your muscle strength, endurance, and elasticity assessed. Uneven muscle tension results in muscle imbalance, therefore it changes spine vertebrae position, and the load distributes unevenly on the body joints. All that leads to various musculoskeletal and especially spine disorders.
Specialists at the Spine treatment center say the main problem for people with back pain is either a lack of exercise or improper exercise. People often start training without knowing the real condition of their musculoskeletal system. According to experts, many spine problems are acquired in sports clubs or other exercise classes.
Fitness, Pilates, Callanetics, etc. — people read about popular physical exercise practices and decide to try without considering their body’s physical condition and its problematic areas. Sometimes a seemingly healthy person has silent functional musculoskeletal system disorders that reveal themselves once he/she starts exercising improperly. Rehabilitation doctor, neurologist Jonas Girskis emphasizes that before starting any type of exercise program, a person must first visit a medical specialist, because there is a possibility that he/she does not need to go to the gym, but instead need to rehabilitate the problematic links of the movement system.
The (im)potency of muscle (im)balance
Why should you consult a specialist to assess the condition of your musculoskeletal system before starting more intense sports activity? During the monotonous movements that take place every day for many years (sitting for hours at a time, running or cycling regularly, etc.), some muscles are constantly loaded and tense, while the other muscles are in rest mode, therefore, getting weaker. As a result, the joint friction increases, and in the long run, it causes the overstrain of the joint capsules, joint damage, as well as changes in the vertebral discs and bone surfaces. Those are the main outcomes of the musculoskeletal system imbalance which unfortunately can be detected only via radiological photographs or after receiving a body signal — pain. Thus, before engaging in more intense sports activities, it is necessary to rehabilitate inconsistent muscle circuits so that those changes would not develop further and would cause as few symptoms as possible. To have a healthy, balanced locomotor system, you need to train your muscles purposefully, which means assessing which muscle groups lack or have too much strength, elasticity, or endurance, and then work on restoring, rehabilitating those characteristics. General exercises will not help you achieve your individual/personalized goals, on the contrary, general exercises will maintain the imbalance in your body.
Why borrowing an exercise program from a friend is a big mistake?
According to physical medicine specialists, people should not start working out unsupervised by professionals. Often fitness trainers ask their clients what are their goals. Beautiful body? Great, here is the program for you, let’s hit the machines! After a while, the clients start to feel back pain and finally decide to visit a physiotherapist. Turns out that the “athlete” was overtraining already loaded muscles and leaving out those groups that lack strength.
Borrowing an exercise program from a friend, searching for one on the internet, or ingroup workouts to achieve the perfect body goal could be a big mistake. For instance, let’s say by nature you are a very flexible person, while muscle strength is your weak spot and you find out on the internet that stretching every day might help you to feel better. And here you start stretching already overstretched muscles, leaving the joints without proper support which only increases the problem and the pain.
To sum up, our message is simple, but not that popular: one cannot blindly play sports without the basics of body management. The safest way to promote well-being and a healthy lifestyle is to engage in general physical activity, however, when engaging in intense physical activity, it is necessary to obtain detailed information about the condition of your musculoskeletal system. Only by knowing the problematic areas (most of us have them) and restoring the musculoskeletal balance, you will be able to safely take up your favourite physical activities.
Smartwellness.eu & Spine treatment center