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I’m Not Indistructible After All

January 23, 2010

As I set the loaded barbell down for my last repetition of my grueling 15 minute deadlift workout, I felt a sickening sensation that I never expected.  
POP! Then the spasm….and then the pain.

I went straight to the floor and prayed that the pain wold subside and that I would bounce back up and continue my training- No such luck. My low back tightened up like a drum and the noxious pain forced me to stay on the floor and think about what I had just done.  My first thought was that I had done some serious damage and that I was going to be in store for some extensive rehab.  I remember thinking how ironic it was that a chiropractor, crossfit certified instructor and competitor had just hurt his low back performing a movement that I’ve so often coached. 

Fortunately, I know some amazing chiropractors that helped me get put back together faster than I ever imagined. I followed the recommendations given to me very diligently, and I was able to make a full recovery in just over a week.  Funny how when you do what your doctor tells you to do you get better 😉 Those recommendations were: Get adjusted everyday for the next 5 days, rest your body for 7 days and take frequent walks, supplement fish oil (6-8 grams per day), proteolytic enzymes (5 three times per day), ice for 20 minutes on and break 20-30 minutes between, think positive, and ease back into training.

Now, some of my patient’s joke that I hurt myself so I could empathize with similar suffering that they’ve been through, but I like to think that it happened for me to make some important realizations and learn some lessons:

1. I have now been under regular chiropractic care for just over 7 years and my spine is as strong as it’s ever been.  Regular corrective adjustments not only helped me bounce back quickly from my injury but helped minimize what could have been very serious damage.

2.  Always be mindful of using correct form whether it’s your first or last repetition.  This is where coaching comes in handy since you can’t always see yourself performing an exercise.  Good coaches can pick out errors in form and give you cues to help correct them.

3. Breathing is critical.  Whether you’re at rest, running, lifting, or shoveling, your breathing is incredibly important.  Taking deep breaths in through your nose and into your belly to let your diaphragm descend while you’re at rest helps take you from a sympathetic (fight or flight) state to a parasympathetic (rest and repair) state.  When you’re lifting, you must take a breath in and hold it with a tight core to keep your body sound during the lift.  If breathing is ignored during a heavier lift then you are at risk of becoming unstable.

4. Listen to your body.  When your form starts to breaks down from fatigue or lack of ability stop what you’re doing, lower the weight, correct your form, or modify the exercise. 

5. Follow your chiropractor’s recommendations.  My chiropractor helped me bounce back for my crossfit competition this weekend with corrective adjustments and the necessary adjunctive strategies and vital behaviors in eating, moving, and thinking. 

Wish me luck this weekend, and thank you to my docs at Franson Family Chiropractic

Your health coach,

Dr. Ryan Hewitt

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