• Deconditioning Syndrome

  • Deconditioning Syndrom
    Four steps to ease into safe and pain free exercise routine

    Deconditioning syndrome is a term used to describe the series of physical and emotional events following an injury or psychological trauma that causes you to stop exercising. At one time or another, every athlete has experienced this cascade of events. And now, this halt in regular exercising has expanded beyond the scope of athletes. COVID-19 has affected people’s exercising habits in an unprecedented way. Gyms closed and lock-downs were put into place, not to mention that the air quality in certain parts of the country contributes to the increased difficulty to spend time outdoors. Yes, at-home fitness has remained an option but many have been experiencing a lack of motivation to pursue their fitness or other goals.

    The thing is, if you stop training you actually get noticeable deconditioning. Within as little as 7 days of complete rest, the beginnings of deconditioning have started. Physical fitness is very much is an issue of “use it or lose it.” This month we are seeing more patients than usual coming in for pains brought on by returning to exercise routines after months of not exercising. The most common conditions we are treating at the moment are back pain, spinal disc pain, hip pain, and neck pain.

    Symptoms of Deconditioning Syndrome

    1. Muscle weakness – Muscle weakness is linked to prolonged sitting, which can especially weaken the core muscles and gluteal muscles. The weakening of muscle groups throughout the body can then have negative effects on physical stability and strength.
    2. Cardiovascular problems – Decreased walking, running, and poor ergonomics all contribute to slouched posture, compression of the lungs, and decreasing chest expansion. Meaning, if you have a feeling that you are unable to breathe that well, it may be due to a lack of physical activity in combination with bad posture.
    3. Digestive difficulties
    4. Pulmonary conditions – Pulmonary conditions affect the lungs and other parts of a person’s respiratory system. As mentioned before, decreased lung capacity can be due to a lack of movement and poor posture. This is a primary side-effect now due to COVID-19 since many of us are not in our best physical shape and we are having largely virtual experiences that leave us sitting behind a screen for many hours.
    5. Depression – To some extent, everyone is depressed due to COVID-related life changes. Not being able to hang out with friends or family as before, financial difficulties, and stresses relating to uncertainty all contribute to most, if not everyone’s, inability to be in an optimal mental state at the moment.

    Easing Into A Safe and Pain-Free Exercise Routine

    If you are unsure of what to do, take some advice from a certified chiropractor. Here is what WE recommend you do:

    • Accept your current abilities – You are simply not at the physical level you were prior so it is essential to ease back into exercising slowly.
    • Start with the core – Core exercises work the muscles of the abdomen, back, pelvis, and hips.  There are many benefits to having a strong core: (1) your back is better protected from injury, (2) you will have better balance, (3) it may be easier for you to control your movements, and (4) you will absorb shock more efficiently. Try this 5-minute core activation series on the exercise ball before you do anything else.
    • Add glute strengthening – If you are returning to your running, walking, or weight-lifting habits, you will need a strong pelvis foundation and even weight distribution. Strong glutes will keep the pelvis leveled when the opposite leg is raised during activities such as walking, running, standing, or lifting. Check out these glute strengthening exercises that you can do from home.
    • Open up your chest – Deep breathing and chest opening exercises help increase lung capacity and chest expansion. Taking slow deep breaths hourly allows oxygen to reach more cells and replenishes the body. Strengthening the upper back and stretching the chest is another way to increase lung capacity.


    While you may be itching to reappear on the exercise scene it is best to consult with your trusted chiropractor for a full evaluation and adjustment. This is because the chiropractor can develop a personalized treatment plan to restore flexibility and muscle strength, which can contribute to returning to pain-free activities.

    Once again, the Chiro-Health team reiterates its desire to help improve your physical well-being and enhance your daily experiences. We invite you to share this article with someone who may also be affected by deconditioning syndrome. As always, choose chiropractic before medication and surgery and stay up to date on the latest treatments that chiropractic can offer and the latest deals at Chiro-Health Inc., your San Francisco chiropractor, by visiting our website, liking us on Facebook, Instagram, or calling us for an appointment.