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Risk Versus Reward: Be Smart

Mar 20, 2011
By Dr. Josh Bross

I get asked all the time at my chiropractor columbia md practice about what activities patients should avoid, what exercises they should do, what’s good for them, etc. The answer varies depending on a lot of factors. It depends on how long they have been injured, how much inflammation they have, the location of the injury, the likelihood of further injury, and so on. One of the most important factors involved in my decision in encompassing all these factors is the amount of risk involved. Another words, by doing a certain activity, while it may be beneficial, how much risk does it pose? For example, we know exercise helps low back pain, but what about running? Running can increase the forces on our discs, which could potentially increased low back pain. In this case, running can be high risk, but could also be high reward. Is it worth it, or should I recommend some exercise with a lower risk?

One of the biggest risk versus reward exercises is the dead lift. The dead lift is a very effective exercise that weight lifters and body builders do to increase low back, glut, hamstring, and core strength. Basically, a person holds a barbell at their waist, and then lowers it along the front of the shins while keeping their back arched. This exercise really encourages core stability and develops strength like no other exercise, but it can come at a price. I have seen numerous cases at my chiropractor columbia md office where people that keep good form doing the deadlift leave the exercise in pain. I have seen disc hernations, pinched nerves, and mechanical low back pain. This is a case of high risk, high reward. There is the potential to injury yourself, but if you are able to avoid injury, it’s an incredible exercise for all-around strength.

When it doubt, I would choose a low risk, high reward exercise with anything you are doing. The less chance of injury, the safer you are. It’s just that simple. Visit my website chiropractor columbia md for more information.

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