Benefits of Exercise

Rehab & Exercise

 
Benefits of Low-Tech Rehab

What Is Rehabilitative Exercise and What Is It For?

Every year, millions of people turn to chiropractors for treatment of muscular and skeletal conditions. Beyond the adjustments they receive, many patients require additional therapy to achieve full recovery, especially in the case of a joint injury (ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, low back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or neck). Prescribed rehabilitative exercise helps to develop strength and endurance, and it works with the doctor's adjustments to help achieve full and proper healing of the injured area.

A well-devised, scientifically-based exercise program can produce:
  • Enhanced muscle performance
  • Decreased severity of injury
  • Decreased risk of re-injury
  • Accelerated recovery and return to activity.
Shouldn't an Injured Muscle or Joint Be Rested - Not Moved - Until it is Completely Healed?
Immobilizing a recent injury may be necessary, but only for a very brief time until the swelling goes down. Studies have determined that immobilizing a muscle actually weakens it - it gets smaller at the rate of approximately 1.5% per day. 2 Therefore, you want to begin movement as soon as your body allows pain-free exercise. In the case of an extensive injury, prolonged bed rest promotes joint stiffness, loss of range of motion, bone mineral loss, cardiovascular de-conditioning, and contributes to family disruption, anxiety, and depression. 3 In contrast to immobilization, exercise therapy helps to develop the strength, endurance, and joint stability required to maintain activities of daily living.

What About Pain?
This is very important: rehabilitative exercise must be performed pain-free to be effective. Pain is the body's way of telling you that an injury has occurred. Exercising through pain can cause further, possibly more serious, injury. The advantage to rehabilitative exercise of injured joints is that, while your goal is to be able to eventually move your joint along its entire normal range, you begin by performing as much movement as you can that is pain-free, and eventually expanding your pain-free range of motion until you have recovered as much normal movement as possible.

What Kind of Exercise Is Right For My Condition?
Your chiropractor can best answer that question. Basically, it depends on the severity of your injury/ condition, how long you have had it, what type of joint/soft tissue is affected, and your overall health. Many doctors recommend specific exercise systems for different areas of the body. Three popular exercise systems are:
  • NECKSYS® Home Care Neck System (for neck and cervical spine conditions)
  • BACKSYS® Home Care Back System (for low back and pelvis)
  • Thera-CiserT (for specific extremities: ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, and wrist)
All three of these rehabilitative exercise systems work with your doctor's treatments to help strengthen specific injured joints. Ask your doctor if one of them would be right for your condition.


References

  1. Roy S, Irvin R: Sports Medicine Prevention, Evaluation, Management, and Rehabilitation. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1983.
  2. Kuprian W: Physical Therapy for Sports. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co., 1982.
  3. Hazard RG, et al: Helping your back pain patients make the most of spinal motion. J of Musculo Med 1994; 11(1): 24-25.
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