5 Ways to Stay Active After a Back Injury

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” An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body. ”

– General George S. Patton

After a lifetime of back issues including scoliosis, spinal stenosis, and two torn discs I was recently diagnosed with 4 bulging or slipped discs.  I just began a six week, three times a week regime of physical therapy and spinal decompression  to compliment my existing chiropractic and acupuncture visits at Total Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center in Florham Park, NJ.  I’m committed to getting better but at the same time, I don’t want to sacrifice my ongoing physical fitness program.  Her are a few pointers to working out while healing from a back injury.

1. Ask you doctor first

As soon as my doctor reviewed my MRI and laid out a rehabilitation plan my first question was, “Can I still workout?”  Depending on the severity and the type of injury you have, your doctor may ask you to curb your physical activity.  Realistically, you won’t see me doing deadlifts, but I can work with weights in moderation.  In my case, on days when I have treatment I stick to cardio.  I work with weights on off days or if I can squeeze a workout in prior to going to the doctor.

2. Hire a personal trainer

If you can afford to do so, hire a trainer to help you with your workouts.  Check your trainer’s credentials and try to find one with a sports injury background.  I currently train with Earnest Goss at Affinity Fitness in Whippany, NJ.  Among his many credentials, Earnest is a NESTA sports injury specialist.  I shared my MRI with him and he understands how to work with me as to not aggravate my injury.  You can find Earnest on Facebook by searching EAG Health and Fitness, if you are looking for a good trainer and live in the area.

3. Yoga

I started taking Vinyasa Yoga classes at my gym last year, and now regularly attend classes twice a week.  Yoga not only calms your mind but it also helps your flexibility and is a great core exercise.  Afraid you may not be able to pull off some of the stretches? No need to worry.  My yoga instructor, Shana, tells all of her students “This is your yoga” don’t be concerned if you don’t know downward facing dog from warrior three.  As always, check with your doctor before attending a class.

4. Supplementation

Supplements will help reduce inflammation, improve joint health, and help your overall healing process, when taken properly.  I currently use and highly recommend Isotonix because of their superior delivery system and cost effective prices.  My favorite Isotonix for fighting inflammation and promoting joint health are as follows:

  1. OPC3 – This is a powerful antioxidant containing Pycnogenol in a form boasting a superior delivery system.  OPC3 has many benefits including combating free radicals, boosts immunity, and its also a powerful anti-inflammatory.  I’ve been taking this product for over 2 years and since using OPC3, I haven’t had a need for allergy medication.
  2. Prime Joint Support Formula – Prime Joint is a mixture of Pycnogenol, glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid.  It is designed to support healthy joint functions and assists the production of synovial fluid, which helps with joint lubrication and regenerates cartilage.
  3. Isotonix Bromelain Plus– Bromelain is commonly found in pineapple rind and is known for its restorative properties.  Isotonix Bromelain stands out amongst competitors due to its superior delivery system and its inclusion of white willow bark, an ingredient that helps blood platelet assemblage and healthy blood flow.

5. If it hurts, don’t do it!

Excercise and physical fitness is meant to make you feel better, not to hurt you.  Normal feelings of soreness or stretching is normal but if a particular movement or action causes pain stop immediately.  If pain persists long after your workout, consult your doctor immediately.

To my fellow back patients, good luck and remember an injury is just a temporary set back-see you at the gym! 🙂

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