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To Lift or Not to Lift?

Strength Training and Regular Chiropractic Care
Engaging in a program of strength training provides numerous benefits for adolescents, young adults, and older adults. Strength training also represents a long-term commitment. The health and fitness gains you achieve via strength training are obtained over months and years, not days and weeks.

Strength training does involve the possibility of injury and it's important to minimize this risk as much as possible. No one wants to endure two or more weeks of downtime owing to a soft tissue injury that could have been avoided. One specific method of helping to ensure safe exercise sessions involves strict attention to proper technique. The second specific method is regular chiropractic care.

All of the physical work involved in strength training is based upon effective spinal biomechanics. Regular chiropractic care is focused on restoring optimal spinal alignment and detecting and correcting sources of nerve interference. By engaging in regular chiropractic care, you're helping to ensure your ability to perform vigorous physical activity and reap the rewards of long-term health.

If a great Shakespearean protagonist had, anachronistically, joined a gym, his internal existential inquiry might have been, "To lift or not to lift?". Many centuries later, the identical inquiry, or controversy, persists. Joining a gym (health club) usually implies the new club member is going to engage in strength training in one form or another. Such exercise provides an abundance of benefits and is a valuable lifestyle choice for most people. But the possibility of injury exists. The key to safe, beneficial exercise is to learn how to do strength training correctly, then develop a plan, and follow the plan.

Government health and wellness guidelines recommend doing 150 minutes of (at least) moderate exercise per week. This translates to at least 30 minutes of exercise five times per week. Strength training is an important component of any exercise program designed to fulfill these recommendations. In combination with cardiorespiratory exercise, strength training greatly improves muscular capabilities and endurance. Your body becomes fit, toned, and honed, and as a result, you become much better equipped to successfully manage the mechanical stresses and strains that everyone encounters during the course of a normal day.1-3

If you are new to strength training or haven't done this form of exercise in a while, then the most important rule is to start slowly. Scientifically determine how much weight you should be lifting by experimentation. Choose a very light weight and see whether you can do eight repetitions with that weight comfortably. If it's difficult to do eight reps, then start over with the next lighter weight. If it's too easy to do eight reps, then start over with the next heavier weight. If eight repetitions feels just about right, then that's the weight with which to begin that particular exercise. Follow these steps for each of your exercises and you'll have established your beginning routine on a personal and safe foundation.

Strength training need never become boring, as you can change your routine with almost infinite variety. For example, for a 12-week period you could do chest and back exercises one day, then leg exercises a second day, and shoulder and arm exercises a third day. You would do your cardiorespiratory exercise on the remaining two days (for a total of five weekly days of exercise). During a different 12-week period, you could do cardiorespiratory exercise on three days and do arm and leg exercises on one day and chest, back, and shoulder exercises on a second day. Or you could choose to "work light" and exercise all your body parts on a single day. You could do your total-body strength training two or three days a week, filling in the other days with cardiorespiratory exercise. The only guideline in the context of these routine designs is whether the routine works for you. If it works, then it works.

As with all exercise programs, the more consistent you are, the greater long-term benefit you'll derive. Be sure to build-in recovery time by taking a week off here and there for rest and recharging. A modern Hamlet would find his or her exercise time enjoyable and rewarding, and would answer the perplexing question with a resounding, "Yes. I will lift."

1Granacher U, et al: The importance of trunk muscle strength for balance, functional performance, and fall prevention in seniors: a systematic review. Sports Med 43(7):627-641, 2013

2Grier T, et al: The effects of cross-training on fitness and injury in women. US Army Med Dep J Apr-Jun:33-41, 2015

3Liu Y, et al: Effects of combined aerobic and resistance training on the glycolipid metabolism and inflammation levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Phys Ther Sci 27(7):2365-2371, 2015
These are very good points. With expanded research funding it may be possible to fulfill the assumptions of parametric analysis with greater confidence.

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We have two locations:

  • STAMFORD

Conveniently located in Downtown Stamford

1 Atlantic Street
2nd Floor
Stamford, CT 06901

Located on the corner of Atlantic and Bedford Streets across from the Ferguson Library and McDonalds on the second floor of the Bank of America building

  • NORWALK

Conveniently located on Rt. 7 between the DMV and Merritt Parkway

488 Main Avenue
2nd Floor
Norwalk, CT 06851

Located on the corner of Main Avenue and Valley View Road across the street from Merritt Building 301

We value our patients' experience at Stamford Sports & Spine. If you are currently a patient, please feel free to complete the following Client Experience Questionnaire. The Questionnaire is in Adobe Acrobat format, and requires the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Download & Print Questionnaire

Dr. Andrew Zomick & Dr. David Avallon

I have been coming to Stamford Sports and Spine for almost 10 years. I am active and have unfortunately been in a few car accidents. The care and treatment offered at Stamford Sports and Spine is world class and without them I would be living with an inordinate amount of pain and discomfort. Going to Stamford Sports and Spine has made my injuries manageable.

--James


Very good team of therapists. Flexible and available schedule. They helped get my teenage athletes back on the field in half the time.

--Shawn


I was experiencing some pain in my right shoulder and numbness down my arm to my hand. The range of motion in my shoulder was limited and I could not participate in volleyball. Dr. Z came to our office offering a free chair massage and a chance to come in for an evaluation. I did this and we worked out a treatment plan that included therapy and adjustments. I noticed in the first few weeks the pain subsided greatly in my shoulder. The numbness in the arm and hand were present but noticeably better. After three weeks, the range of motion in my shoulder was back to normal and the pain was gone. Now after one month of therapy the numbness in the arm is extremely better and I do not notice the symptoms as often as I used to. Coming into the office has helped tremendously. I can now play volleyball pain-free.

--Mary


After moving from London to the USA, two weeks into living in Stamford and having carried and unpacked a lot of heavy boxes my shoulder froze and I was in a great deal of constant pain. After finding Stamford Sports & Spine on the internet I made an appointment and the corrective programme S.S.S. put together for me meant that I immediately had some pain relief, and over the next few weeks the pain left completely. The programme is also ensuring that I am not only pain free but fully corrected so as this problem should not occur again. Very friendly staff and very detailed assessment programme that has ensured my full recovery.

--Laura


From my first visit to Stamford Sports & Spine I was extremely impressed and pleased with their service. Everyone including staff and doctors were very knowledgeable with their chiropractic services. I learned a great deal about my symptoms and overall care more than I expected. I have visited a few other chiropractors but none were as thorough as Stamford Sports & Spine. I was experiencing severe pain in my shoulder and arm and after a few visits my pain decreased substantially. I really appreciate all the services from the adjustments, rollers and even exercise room. I would highly recommend this facility to everyone. The entire staff are friendly, professional and just simply great!

--Sherri


Everyone was incredibly professional and helpful.  The staff is friendly and goes beyond what was expected to meet my needs and education me about my condition.

--Jon


Came in with severe and constant numbness and tingling in my legs and feet. The treatment worked quickly and resolved all of my symptoms. Thanks!

--Erik


My arms were falling asleep every night and had numbness and tingling during the day. I no longer have any of those symptoms during the day and have very rare episodes of pain at night due to my treatment here at Stamford Sports & Spine

--Eric


I came in for hip pain and stiff neck that also affected my right arm and hand. Using the relaxing rolling / traction bed and electrical muscle stimulation along with stretching and the adjustments my hip pain is gone. I can walk without sharp pains running up and down my legs. My neck range of motion has improved and my muscles are more flexible and less spastic.

--Karen


I had severe neck pain which was aggravated by a recent move. I have been coming to be adjusted for a few weeks now and not only has it helped with the neck pain I had been experiencing, but it has also made me feel better overall. I feel like I am able to sit up straighter, and my muscles are looser and less tense. I no longer have the intense pain I had once been experiencing

--Kim


When I came in my pain was a 10 out of 10. After just one week of care my pain went down to a 4 and has been improving ever since. The staff are very friendly and great educators. I learned a lot about my body and how to take better care of myself.

--Heidi


After a car accident,  I had to seek help for my upper back and neck pain. Slowly but surely I started to feel better, not immediately, but by keeping up with my visits with Dr. Q & Dr. Z. Now I can tell you that I feel leaps and bounds better, and am now looking forward to a pain-free summer.

--Rudy


I have been with Stamford Sports & Spine for more than a year now. I still remember how much pain I was in during my first session. I can now walk in and out without any aches or pains.

--Rick


When I first started going to Stamford Sports & Spine, my back had been seizing up with alarming regularity. After just a few months of working with Dr. Z and Dr. Q, I feel much more confident in my daily activities and have even been able to return to the gym.

--Dan


Thank you to Dr. Z, Dr. Q and the whole Stamford Sports & Spine team! For many years, I have been suffering from severe back pain that would sometimes keep me from going to work. The recurring pain would come and go and I couldn't figure out what I was doing to cause it. When I came to the office, Dr. Z took x-rays, did a complete examination and educated me as to what was happening and why. I began treatment and was given exercises to prevent these injuries from happening in the future. Since starting the treatment, I have seen a great improvement in my back. The pain is gone and I have an increased range of motion. Thanks again to the entire staff who are very friendly and always willing to accommodate my hectic schedule when I make appointments.

--Ron


The strabismus in my eyes caused a vertical deviation in my eye placement.  This resulted in my head naturally tilting to the right and throwing my muscular structure in my neck and shoulders off.  I had accepted the tilt and tightness as a way of life and a natural dis-figuration of my spine.  I almost didn't sign on for initial treatment.  After 3 visits I have already noticed a difference in the position of my head, my posture and regular comfort levels.  There is still a ways to go to rid that area of  a lifetime of dysfunction, but what a relief to know it's treatable and already improving.

-Jenn


I found Dr. Z and Dr. Q earlier in the week after experiencing some back pain and sciatica. After the consultation and x-rays I began therapy. After just 2 treatments I felt much better and had a significant reduction in discomfort in the area of concern. I am looking forward to continuing my treatment in an effort for long term recovery and a return to my heavy exercise routine.

--Tom


FANTASTIC. When I leave I feel like a whole new woman. I have been going there for my neck pain and headaches for about 1 year now; off and on and ever since I started treatment there my headaches have been reduced to one every few months instead of a few every month. The intensity of of my pain has also been reduced to almost nothing. The doctors seem to have a very friendly relationship with all of the patients and I feel very welcomed by the staff as well. Not to mention I love how they incorporate therapeutic massages into my treatment. I have since sent over many of my colleagues and family, who also share the same feelings. Thank you.

--Bri


I had a great experience. My low back pain is completely gone. I found the staff extremely knowledgeable, accommodating and friendly. I would highly recommend them.

--Jay F.

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