In March 2020, the pace of everyone’s life drastically slowed down. The change in our routines and the temporary virtual way of living not only slowed down the pace of life for many but also slowed down activity levels. When you were barely leaving your house, getting in your 10,000 steps was harder than ever. Now that the pace of life has picked back up, many people are noticing aches and pains that they never experienced before.
The lack of movement likely leads to stiffness, achy joints, poor posture, weight gain and other health complications. Some have said that their “quarantine 10” quickly became their “quarantine 20.” For these reasons, more and more people have started to exercise or increase their current exercise regimen. In our office, most people are choosing walking, running or biking as a way to increase their health; and now that the days are longer, there is no better time of year to make any of these your new favorite activity.
It’s important to remember that whenever you start to add any type of physical activity into your life, you must do it slowly. The two best reasons are because you don’t want to get burned out and you don’t want to get injured. I did not become a marathon runner overnight. I started by running around the block for 15 minutes, having to take a few walking breaks along the way. It’s best to start slowly to gain strength and confidence and then gradually increase to whatever it is you’re choosing to do. It’s also important to consult with your health care provider to make sure the activity is safe for you. Proper stretching before and after doing an activity and staying hydrated are also very important and should not be forgotten.
The reason I bring up injury is because our office continues to have an increase in new patients that are coming in because they started becoming more physically active and it’s leading to pain and symptoms, most commonly, low back, sciatic, hip, knee and ankle or foot pain. What surprises many people is that often the problem stems from misalignments in the spine. For instance, if you have a misalignment causing nerve interference in your lumbar spine, it can affect the muscles in your leg and the way you walk, which can lead to ankle pain. If you just put a brace on your ankle, you may be addressing the symptom but may not be addressing the problem.
You don’t have to be bad to be better. If you have noticed that you’re having discomfort or pain after exercise, then you might want to consider calling our office to schedule an appointment. We take a complete history, reviewing old injuries and present issues, before providing a physical and neurological exam as we locate the source of the problem. Together we will set goals and discuss a plan to get you back on your feet and feeling better than ever.
With so much out of our control, there is no better time to take control of what we can — and our health should be at the top of that list.