Top Benefits of Therapeutic Exercises for Back Pain


Chiropractic Raleigh NC Exercises for Back Pain

What are the benefits of adding therapeutic exercises to your chiropractic adjustments and therapies?

We've all experienced lower back or neck pain at some point, and most of us want the quickest way to make it go away. Recently, many studies have come out supporting the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments or SMT (spinal manipulative therapy) combined with therapeutic exercises as the most effective way to manage lower back pain and neck pain.

In a review of six recently published articles on patients with chronic spine pain, it was noted in the study that those who exercised showed significantly more improvements than those who did not. Outcomes were classified based on pain levels and disability. The increase in outcomes (pain levels decreasing and disability ratings dropping) was not seen among those who did not exercise.

Interestingly enough, the therapeutic exercise group that did exercise experienced some bone density increases and strength gains. Strength gains and healthy bone density levels have also been linked to experiencing less back pain.

How and why do therapeutic exercises work?

Therapeutic exercise helps to relieve spine pain primarily by increasing your range of motion. Stiff and tight muscles need to be stretched. After receiving a chiropractic adjustment to the spine the joints will be able to move more freely and with more mobility. When you add specific and targeted therapeutic stretches to the muscles around these joints optimal range of motion can be achieved.

Imagine being able to bend over and tie your shoes without low back pain, or turning your head while driving without having neck pain. These are some of the benefits seen when combining chiropractic spinal adjustments with targeted therapeutic exercises and stretching.

What should you expect during your treatment for back pain?

It is recommended that in between office visits patients perform their therapeutic exercises at home. You will first be instructed on how to perform your prescribed therapeutic exercises and stretches during your office visit. Then you will be provided instructional handouts on how to perform your prescribed therapeutic exercises at home on your own.

Good therapeutic exercise prescriptions for back pain include

Strengthening exercises

  • Muscles in your spine, core, or extremities that require strengthening are identified. Often, back pain may be well managed with core strengthening exercises for the abdominal, hip, and spinal stabilizer muscle groups.

Flexibility exercises

  • Muscles that are hyper-contracted, tight, and inflexible are identified. Then you'll be instructed on how to stretch and lengthen these muscles.

Functional movement assessment

  • A functional movement assessment may be performed, which is a movement-based diagnostics system to assess movement patterns that may be contributing to the problem.

In summary, spinal adjustment combined with targeted prescribed therapeutic exercises have been shown to be superior in recent studies over participants who had 1. only medication and rest 2. only SMT 3. only therapeutic exercises.

In health,

Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes, D.C.

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