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If you’re a regular exerciser, you’ve likely heard fitness experts stress the importance of rest and recovery between workouts — and for good reason. Recovery efforts are essential for optimal fitness, and they are key to reaching workout-related goals.

“When we work out, it sends a message to our body that we want it to change,” says Eric Thibault, DC, chiropractor at LifeClinic in Houston, Texas. “Adequate recovery — including sleep, nutrition, hydration, stretching, and even chiropractic care — allows that message to be delivered so we can get the outcome we want. If we don’t allow our body to recover, it’s less likely that we’ll see the outcomes we want and also put ourselves at risk for injury.”

As a chiropractor, Thibault sees many people with exercise-related injuries in his clinic. “Every individual’s situation is unique, but often I see injuries occur when someone is underprepared to meet the demands of the physical activity they’re attempting,” he says. “Injuries can happen when you’re doing too much too soon or without proper recovery.”

Working out is a stressor for your body, yet it serves as a good form of stress when you have a solid recovery approach. “Recovering properly helps your body and nervous system become more resilient and better prepared to handle the next stressor it encounters without overdoing it and causing injury,” he says.

Learn more: “Expert Answers: How Do I Know if I’m Getting Enough Rest Between Workouts?

How Does Chiropractic Care Fit into the Recovery Process?

Working with a chiropractor can encompass more than the chiropractic adjustment of joints, Thibault clarifies — though adjustments are also a useful tool.

“Chiropractic care encompasses a range of solutions, including soft tissue treatment, rehab exercises, education about your pain and condition, and validation of your lived experience,” says Thibault. “Ultimately the goal of a chiropractor is to help you get back to or continue to thrive doing the activities you enjoy.”

A chiropractor can offer guidance for optimal body function through physical treatment, such as spinal adjustments, while also sharing education and advice on how to regain and retain a high level of abilities.

“Spinal adjustments and manual therapy have been shown to turn down the volume of symptoms we may experience from a tough workout and to reduce the barrier to doing more consistent movement,” Thibault adds. “Additionally, a chiropractor can teach you certain stretches or rehab movements and offer guidance on sleep quality and stress management to benefit your resiliency in tolerating stressors. Increasing your capacity to tolerate and adapt from stressors is the ultimate form of recovery.”

If you’re looking to improve your recovery routine while preventing pain and injury, try scheduling an appointment with a chiropractor on your rest days between workouts, suggests Thibault. “Finding a chiropractor who is knowledgeable when it comes to optimizing your sleep, movement, workouts, and other levers that affect recovery can help you along the way.”

If you’re interested in working with a LifeClinic chiropractor, you can learn more and request an appointment here.

Emily Ewen

Emily Ewen is a senior writer and content editor at Life Time.

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