Is a Good Workout the Same as Getting Adjusted?


In general, regular exercise is a part of good health. However, some people believe that a good workout replaces the need for chiropractic care. This myth is far from the truth for many reasons. The primary factor is that some muscles and joints you can\’t move on your own.

The Concept of Voluntary Control

If you can move a body part at will, you have voluntary control of that joint or muscle. For example, you can move your arm at the shoulder or the elbow, and you can flex your triceps or biceps. For the most part, you have voluntary control of the body\’s less complicated joints, those that move in one plane.

On the other hand, you lack voluntary control over the more complex structures, including the spine and the structures through which the spinal cord passes. This concept is especially true for specific segmental and deep spinal muscles, meaning that you cannot voluntarily move them at will. You can control some of the large muscles in the spine\’s vicinity, but you cannot control the specific movement of any of your 24 vertebrae in your spine. Communication between those muscles and the brain happens through nerves. While the brain does control them, you cannot intentionally make them act on your own.

The Movement of Vertebra During Exercise

Specific exercises, including neck and back stretches or hugging your knees to your chest, do move the vertebra. However, the vertebrae move because of the motion in the general area rather than from voluntary control. Therefore, if you have a vertebra that is stuck, it may move some because of the action, but the movement won\’t target that specific one. Exercise can\’t move a vertebra that is stuck because of scarring, fibrosis, or arthritis.

The Adjustment of Vertebra With Chiropractic Care

A chiropractic adjustment is different from exercise. The chiropractor does a thorough evaluation, including X-rays, to determine which vertebra needs adjustment and how much. The focus is on the specific vertebrae that need attention. Chiropractic care moves the joint into the pathophysiological space, which is a way of saying that it moves outside its normal range of motion. This movement can break up scar tissue and fibrosis, which exercise cannot do. This process helps to restore normal movement and nerve function.

The Care You Need

To get help with back or neck pain or limitation of motion, don\’t rely on exercise. In fact, some exercises can aggravate injuries. Instead, contact a knowledgeable and experienced chiropractor, like from AmeriWell Clinics. A chiropractic doctor can determine your medical needs and present you with treatment options so that you can make an informed decision.