I have discussed some of the physiotherapy modalities that we use in our clinic. I’d like to discuss a modality that most people don’t consider a modality, exercise. Exercise when used in my clinic is usually used as a form of specific rehab with a specific goal in mind. I will always recommend exercise as home care or a lifestyle change because your body heals faster when you’re in peak condition. Exercise in my office though, will be used to improve balance, decrease recovery time, strengthen weak areas, or for motion retraining.
The most obvious example is the slumped shoulders that we all get from working on computers too much. Your muscles in the front get strong and short, but your back muscles are stretched long and are weak. We would do exercises to retrain that to normal. As chiropractors we try to care for the whole body and get to the root cause of problems rather than just treating symptoms. If you have a muscular imbalance that is causing your spine not to function properly a chiropractor would be remiss if he just adjusted the spine over and over without addressing the muscles causing the problem. That is not to say that all spinal problems are cause by muscles, but it is hard to separate the two components.
Retraining exercises teach your brain how to use muscles and joints properly. It takes time to break bad habits, but exercising properly along with adjustments will help much faster. When you have improved enough, you should be able to maintain your health on your own with proper diet and fitness. Life happens and you may need to come back for a little extra help, but one of my goals is to educate patients to take care of themselves. Education is true preventative medicine.