"How can my body possibly do that and NOT hurt?!"
The human body is an amazing machine, and much more capable of incredible feats than we realize. We've had millions of years to evolve, and the body has hundreds of repair mechanisms hard-wired into its operating systems. The secret is: you have to use them. The body must move in order to repair. So contrary to popular belief of "RICE"-ing an injury (rest, ice, compression, elevation) the body must move in order to repair an injury in the chronic phase of healing. Unless you've got a fracture or ruptured tendon/ligament:
NOT MOVING IS NOT THE ANSWER.
In fact, increasing spinal range of motion and core strength has been shown to reduce back pain, both in intensity and likelihood of future recurrence, in hundreds of research articles. This is true for nearly all back injuries, including muscle strains, disc derangements (herniations) and boney changes like stenosis and osteoporosis. But who cares about what some stuffy smart people think? Make the commitment to exercise and see for yourself. Be willing to challenge your comfort levels and don't use the fear of an injury as a crutch to not progress your own activity levels.
"But won't it hurt?!"
In order to optimize your enjoyment and benefit from any activity, especially something more intense, you have to understand the difference between "sore" and "pain". Soreness caused by exercise can result in any of the following descriptors: tight, bruised, swollen, stiff, achey, wobbly, jiggly, and tenderness to touch. Great news though: It all goes away...If you keep moving! Despite soreness, using active recovery through continued exercise (at varied, scaled intensities) will actually help your body heal and repair those achey muscles and stiff joints. Moving soft tissues through ranges of motion and continually promoting synovial fluid production in the joints will help you feel better, no matter how sore you get.
On the other hand, pain caused by exercise can cause any of the following descriptors: sharp, shooting, pinching, tingling/numbness, and blocked or locked joints that can't move through a known available range of motion. These are bad, and whatever you're doing should be stopped immediately.
So yes, your back (and any other body region) may feel sore after intense exercise, but that's a good thing. It means you activated a muscle group and have begun making it stronger. Keep moving to promote the body's natural recovery processes, and make stretching, mobilizing, and core strengthening integral parts of your training.
Exercise won't work unless you do.
Posted by: Dr. Lynn Felege, PT, DPT – a Noble CrossFit member
Remember, the Chamber has plenty of resources that can help you on your journey to better health – click here to learn more about the Healthy Workplaces Initiative.
About Noble CrossFit
The goal at Noble CrossFit is to not only create great athletes, but also to help people get in shape using a well-rounded fitness program. Some of the programs Noble CrossFit has to offer includes CrossFit, Personal Training, Barbell Club, and personalized nutrition plans. Whether you are looking to just get in shape, get off the ground without assistance, or compete in your next strong(wo)man competition, Noble CrossFit has all of your needs! Try your first week free – call 703.927.3119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.