Working Out and Chiropractic Care: Timing it Right

Apr 30, 2024

Chiropractic adjustments pre and post workout to help with back and joint pain
Chiropractic adjustments pre and post workout to help with back and joint pain
Chiropractic adjustments pre and post workout to help with back and joint pain

For those integrating chiropractic care into their active lifestyles, a common question is whether to hit the gym before or after a chiropractic adjustment. The answer can affect not only your comfort but also the effectiveness of your chiropractic treatment and workout routine.


The Case for Pre-Adjustment Workouts

Working out before your chiropractic session might be beneficial for several reasons. Exercise warms up the muscles, making them more pliable and receptive to adjustments. This can be particularly useful for those who engage in high-intensity activities or strength training. As Dr. Sarah Dale, Director at KIRO, explains, "Exercising prior to your adjustment can enhance the body's response, as warm muscles and a loosened spine may allow for easier manipulations and potentially more significant benefits."

Moreover, engaging in a workout before your session may help reveal the true stress points and stiffness in your body, which can be directly addressed during your adjustment.


The Benefits of Post-Adjustment Workouts

Conversely, there are also good reasons to consider exercising after a chiropractic adjustment. Post-adjustment, your body often experiences an increased range of motion and reduced discomfort, which can lead to a more effective and enjoyable workout. Dr. Small notes, "After an adjustment, your body is typically better aligned, and this can enhance your performance in the gym, allowing for a more productive workout without undue stress on any misaligned joints."

Additionally, exercising after your session can help reinforce the effects of the adjustments. As your body acclimates to its new alignment, engaging in moderate exercise can help maintain these changes.


What’s the Best Practice?

Ultimately, the decision on when to exercise around your chiropractic adjustment depends on your personal preferences and the specific advice of your chiropractor. It's important to communicate with your chiropractor about your exercise routine so they can tailor their approach to fit your needs.

For most people, a light, pre-appointment workout followed by a more intensive session after your adjustment might offer the best of both worlds. This approach allows for the loosening benefits of pre-adjustment exercise without compromising the alignment achieved in your chiropractic session.

As always, it’s crucial to listen to your body. If you feel too tired or sore after a chiropractic adjustment, give yourself permission to rest. Remember, both chiropractic care and exercise are part of a broader strategy to maintain an active, pain-free lifestyle.