Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

August 16, 2012

When Not To Exercise

Some patients get adjusted, enjoy relief of their symptoms, and then wait for their symptoms to return before trying the exercises recommended.

That might work. It usually doesn’t. We now know – we didn’t a few years back – that exercising while you are in pain is a bad idea in general. Pain shifts the neurology and negatively impacts movement patterns which increases risk of injury.(1)

If your symptoms are generated by joints that don’t move well (or the associated spasm) and you can do an “exercise” that frees up the joints, great. Do it. If the joints that are not moving well don’t move when you do the exercise, they will be irritated by it, inflammation will be increased, and the symptoms will worsen.

Experience will tell you whether you have it figured out or not. Usually, it’s better to do the spine exercises as close to daily as possible: they not only keep the joints moving but also re-train the muscles and ligaments, restoring them to more normal function. These processes take time. It’s not just an investment in your recovery; it improves your chance of avoiding a relapse.


(1) Or as Stuart McGill, one of the top researchers in the world, puts it, “Training with pain will ensure the establishment of perturbed motor patterns.” “The presence of pain prevents the re-establishment of healthy motor patterns.”



  1. Hi try visiting bodybolster.com for gentle exercises while you are hurting

    Comment by bodybolster — August 23, 2012 @ 12:28 am

  2. […] mentioned before that we now know exercising while you are in pain is not a good idea. The thing is, […]

    Pingback by Breathing and Bracing | Everett Chiropractic Center Blog — September 12, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

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