At the end of a busy work week, many people look towards the weekend as a way to squeeze in active lifestyle fun and chores. This can mean home improvement projects or weekend sports. Sometimes, however, the “weekend warrior” will find themselves “overdoing it”. Rather than relying on pain medications—or looking forward to a future after surgery—the busy weekender can visit a chiropractor for faster, safer, and more consistent relief. Chiropractors often advocate prevention. The most important first step that any “weekend warrior” should remember is that they need to use proper and safe warm-up and stretching methods before doing any activities. They also need to hydrate, cool down properly, and use proper lifting techniques. Without taking these precautions, a person can become seriously injured and even miss time from work. “80% of people who participate in any kind of physical activity…will sprain an ankle sometime in their life” and, without rehabilitation, there is a “90-95% chance they will get low back pain”.1 Making up for inactivity all week by trying to do too much in two days can lead to a body’s rebellion in the form of strains and pains. It is best to fit in some form of activity all week long to prevent this from happening. Activities could include fitting in a walk at lunch time, taking business calls while standing or walking around, and switching to a standing desk at work. If the commute is reasonable, the patient might walk or bike to work rather than driving or taking public transportation every day. Even standing while taking the bus or train makes some difference. Other ideas are to slow down and get help for chores. Families can accomplish a lot together by dividing the workload.2
Typical “Weekend Warrior” Injuries
“Weekend warriors” can get a variety of orthopedic injuries. “People who slack during the week and go full bore on weekends, run a greater risk of developing knee, shoulder and back injuries.” These might include rotator cuff injuries or shoulder separations, joint, Achilles’ tendon, and knee problems, tissue tears and tendonitis, and lower back pain. Strenuous training programs can also cause strains and injuries. This is why stretching before and after the workout, maintaining proper form, and slowly cooling down at the end of the workout are important tasks to practice.3
Traditional medical treatments for “weekend warrior” injuries tend to come from orthopedists. As a result, a patient may undergo various surgeries, including knee replacements and rotator cuff surgeries. Even with these medical advancements showing improved recovery time, these are serious and sometimes even very expensive interventions. Some doctors will use hyaluronic acid injections for the joints to “supplement the viscosity of the joint fluid”. Others will use prosthetics in the surgical procedures.4 Over-the-counter and prescription pain medications may be recommended, and these can lead to side-effects, overuse, and other complications. Pills only mask the injury, and they might yet still be ineffective or only able to provide the patient temporary relief from the pain caused by the real problem.
Time to See a Chiropractor
Chiropractors offer a drug-free and more natural health care approach. One of the latest advances in chiropractic care includes “Class IV Deep Tissue Laser Therapy…Damaged cells will absorb and become energized by photonic energy”. This has been tested in over 2000 clinical trials over the last 30 years. “Stimulated cells increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, and dramatically reduce inflammation, pain and swelling”.5 Even just regular chiropractic adjustments can reduce pain, improve overall health, and may help prevent “weekend warrior” injuries from happening. Those “weekend warriors” who are considering exercise programs should consult their doctor or chiropractor before starting a new program. The medical professionals could have a few ideas for how to minimize injury while performing the exercises, based on the medical history and current physical state of the patient. Starting slow is fine, too. Everyone should work at their own pace and only build up intensity over time that they are prepared to do. Walking around and stretching before the workout begins is a good way for the body to get warmed up and ready to go. Mixing up the workout routine sometimes is also a good idea. Patients often become bored of the same, repetitive routine. They might also sustain injuries because of the repetition in their workout, so working a different or opposing area of the body each week will minimize the boredom and physical stress. Of course, patients should stay hydrated, wear proper clothing and shoes, and visit their chiropractor regularly. Even when the patient is exercising in the optimal way, chiropractic adjustments can still find areas of the body that need realignment to maximize their potential.6
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