Are you being “Diss-functional?”

Are you being “Diss-functional?”

When people are called dysfunctional, they may feel “diss-ed.”  However, the reality is that most people are either born with some imbalances or acquire dysfunctions through the different stressors of life like physical trauma, chemical/diet stress, and emotional dis-tress.  What many people fail to realize is that pain is the last symptom to appear and that there was some form of dysfunction present days to years prior.  Prevention is a hot topic nowadays in the media, but it usually only focuses on mammograms/prostate screenings and making sure you get your annual physical.  These steps are highly necessary but what about preventing debilitating sciatica/low back pain or shin splints and knee pain before it starts?

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to be proactive and preventative! Here is a simple list to follow:

1)      Sleep – 7-8 hours/night, getting enough sleep will not make your muscles less tense throughout your day

2)      Diet – eat regularly throughout the day (every 2-3 hours) as to maintain consistent blood sugar. Avoid processed and sugary foods as much as possible, concentrate on your veggies/proteins/fruits.  Stay hydrated, drinking 8 cups of 8 ounces of water is the average, drink more if working out.  You will be more likely to avoid “crashing” this way and be able to have better workouts

3)      Foam Roll/stretch – Roll on a foam roller/tennis/lacrosse ball starting from your calves to your mid/upper back.  Any area that is tight, concentrate more on. Don’t forget about the quadriceps, it band and groin muscles! Roll for 1-2mins/area.  Rolling is like a self-massage and can help avoid many work and sport related injuries!  Stretching your calves/hamstrings/quads is great first thing in the morning and after a workout. You want to hold the stretch for 30 seconds and do 3 sets.

4)      Rest – Your body, just like any other machine, wears down at a certain point and needs to reset and rest.  It is never a bad idea to take a week off from working out if you have been going for many weeks or to work out every other day in general.  You never want to feel worn out all the time, just during the workout itself!

5)      Get your spine and body checked by a professional – Chiropractors are trained to find spinal misalignments and to align the spine as well as possible.  This, along with muscle work like Active Release Techniques, can balance your body more and be preventative for future injuries!

Following these steps can curtail many injuries and pains in your future!  With the Winter Olympics coming up, you can bet that the hockey players, skaters, skiers, and others are following all these steps as to prevent injury and to optimize their performance!  You can do the same!