Spinal Injury

NOTE: If you have a spinal injury, it’s crucial to approach workouts with caution and consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist who specializes in spinal cord injuries beforehand. They can provide a more personalized guidance based on your specific condition, level of injury, and mobility.

Rationale: Since spinal issues are huge problem, we are going to to focus on recovery and ultimately build fundamentals needed to enter the fitness world.

To do this we focus on these 6 things.

  1. Strengthening exercises: Focus on strengthening the muscles around your spine, including the core muscles, back extensors, and abdominal muscles. Strengthening these muscles can help improve stability and support for your spine. Exercises like gentle abdominal contractions, modified planks, and seated rows can be beneficial.
  2. Range of motion exercises: Perform regular range of motion exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent muscle tightness. Gentle stretches and range of motion exercises can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of contractures (shortening and tightening of muscles).
  3. Cardiovascular exercise: Depending on your level of injury, cardiovascular exercise options may vary. Some individuals with spinal cord injuries can engage in exercises like hand cycling, wheelchair-based aerobics, or swimming. Others may require specialized equipment or assistance. Work with a professional to determine the most suitable cardiovascular exercises for your situation.
  4. Assistive devices: Utilize appropriate assistive devices or adaptive equipment as recommended by your healthcare professional. These devices can provide support and enable you to engage in specific exercises safely.
  5. Gradual progression: Start with low-intensity exercises and gradually increase the intensity, duration, or resistance as advised by your healthcare professional. This approach helps prevent overexertion and minimizes the risk of further injury.
  6. Monitor signs and symptoms: Pay attention to your body and stop exercising immediately if you experience any pain, discomfort, or unusual symptoms. It’s important to communicate any changes to your healthcare professional to ensure adjustments can be made to your exercise program.

We can provide you with a general guideline for a workout plan that focuses on strengthening and supporting the spine for individuals with a herniated disk. However, it’s important to note that each person’s condition is unique, and it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist who can tailor the plan to your specific needs. They can assess your condition, provide personalized recommendations, and ensure you perform exercises correctly and safely. Here’s a general workout plan for individuals with spinal injuries, such as a herniated disk:

  1. Warm-up: Start each session with a few minutes of light cardio exercise, such as walking or stationary cycling, to increase blood flow to the muscles and prepare your body for the workout.

  2. Core strengthening exercises: A strong core helps support the spine and can alleviate pressure on the herniated disk. Perform exercises such as:
  • Pelvic tilts: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Gently tilt your pelvis upward, pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold for a few seconds and release.
  • Modified planks: Start on your hands and knees, keeping your back straight. Lower your forearms to the ground, shoulder-width apart. Hold this position for a few seconds, focusing on engaging your core. Gradually increase the duration as your strength improves.
  • Bridging: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from knees to shoulders. Hold for a few seconds and lower back down.
  1. Low-impact cardiovascular exercise: Engage in low-impact activities that promote cardiovascular health without placing excessive strain on the spine. Options may include walking, swimming, stationary cycling, or using an elliptical machine. Start with a comfortable intensity and gradually increase as tolerated.

  2. Strength training: Perform exercises that target major muscle groups while maintaining proper form and avoiding movements that strain the spine. Focus on exercises that promote overall strength and stability, such as:
  • Leg press: Using a leg press machine, push the weight away from you using your legs, focusing on controlled movements.
  • Seated rows: Use a rowing machine or resistance bands to target your back muscles while sitting upright.
  • Chest press: Utilize a chest press machine or resistance bands to strengthen the chest muscles while maintaining good posture.
  • Leg curls: Perform leg curls using a machine or resistance bands to target the muscles at the back of your thighs.
  1. Flexibility exercises: Incorporate gentle stretching and range of motion exercises to maintain flexibility and reduce muscle tightness. Stretching the muscles surrounding the spine, hips, and legs can help alleviate tension and improve mobility. Consult with a professional to learn specific stretches appropriate for your condition.

  2. Cool-down: Finish each session with a few minutes of light stretching or low-intensity activity to gradually bring your heart rate down and promote muscle recovery.

Remember, the intensity and specific exercises should be determined by your healthcare professional or physical therapist, taking into consideration your individual condition and progress. It’s important to listen to your body, start slowly, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercises as you gain strength and stability. If you experience any pain or discomfort during or after exercises, stop and consult with your healthcare professional.

Dietary Note : Since this isn’t a full weight lifting routine, it isn’t recommended to cut or bulk excessively and to focus on recovery. Also keep in mind these exercise do not burn as much calories heavily as normal workouts do.

Exercise frequently ranging from 3-4x a week
Rest and have a diagnostic check up frequently 1-2x a week as well.