Should I exercise after my Osteopathic appointment?

Should I exercise after my Osteopathic appointment?

RestGreat question!  I get this one all the time, probably becuase everyone is feeling so free and nimble after having a treatment!!  If you exercise, will you undo all the work done from your appointment?

What I tell my patients, is to stay away from vigourous exercise especially any pounding exercises like running.  The reason for this is that the body needs time to integrate the treatment before you place a lot of stress upon it.

Think of it this way, when you have treatment, you are realigning your stucture, giving it a chance to learn how to move correctly again.  Weight bearing may be shifted slightly from the front to the back, or from side to side.  Changes in how you move are noticed not only in joints, and the increased pressure they may now take, but also in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.  Every piece of YOU is going to stretch, take new load, and have pressure redistributed.  This can create pain, even if you do nothing!  Patients can experience discomfort for the first 24-72 hours with no activity.

Patients have asked me if they should run after treatment and becuase of the above explanation I say no.  So, they go anyway, which is what many runners tend to do. Then, when I see them next time and they say that they were surprised by how sore they were after their run and much worse the next day, I just remind of the importance of REST!  And of course, many say they won’t do that again, which of course, isn’t true.  But that’s ok, it all works out in the end.

All this isn’t to say I don’t like people to be active, I would just like you to pick a more gentle activity for a few days. Do something slow and gentle, allowing your body to accept the changes to its biomechanics.  Try Hatha yoga, a stretching class from a rec centre, a swim, or a walk by the water.  You can resume your hard core crossfit power yoga bootcamp tony horton tough mudder ultramarathon training the next day…if that sounds appealing.

Dave Ellis, Manual Osteopathy Therapist, Oakville

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