Balance Is Best


It may be difficult to choose the right exercises to do based on an ailment or for a general exercise regimen. Many times individuals have the right intention of exercising and being healthier, but just need a little guidance in selecting the most appropriate activities to engage in. Just as it is important to eat a balanced diet with adequate micro and macro nutrients, it is just as important to maintain a balanced exercise regimen. Today the technology we have access to, such as instructional videos and images for a multitude of exercising strategies including CrossFit, yoga, HIIT, and many more. I get asked the question all the time by my patients, “ Doc, what is the best kind of exercise that I can do for myself?”. Obviously, Mrs. P my 87 y/o with osteoporosis will be given a different answer than my 17 y/o high school baseball player. However, in general I will tell both of them that variety is best. Our bodies adapt to stresses applied whether it be to bone, tendon, ligament, or our cardiovascular system all will become conditioned to whatever stress that is being applied. As a result these structures change to become more dense, improve tensile properties, become more pliable, or work more efficiently. These are usually good stresses that allow our bodies to become stronger and more resilient, however in excess some loads or stresses can cause damage. I like to use the example of the long time powerlifter who only strength trained for years with little variation in training, and now has an arthritic back and knees from chronic excessive loads and wearing down of his joint surfaces. In contrast the long time yoga instructor who can fold up like a pretzel but now has severe nerve pain in her leg due to spinal instability and neural involvement. As an example when you use the knee joint, it is just as important to have adequate strength of surrounding musculature in order to stabilize the knee during movement and activity, as it is to have flexibility in that musculature to allow for proper movements to occur. The point being made here is that with repetitive training regimens that lack a variety of movements and/or appropriate loading, you can become too strong and lack mobility or too flexible and lack stability. Either of these scenarios can place an individual at risk for injury or depending on the injury sustained could prolong the recovery. At First Choice Physical Therapy we specialize in analyzing and treating movement and strength dysfunction related to the musculoskeletal system. Come let us help you recover from your injuries and help you return to whatever activity it is that you are missing out on due to pain.