In order to maintain proper spinal motion and alignment, the muscles that support the spine must be strong. Muscle weakness is common in injured areas. Working to correct the weakness through rehabilitative exercises is an integral part of stabilizing the spine to restore it to optimum functionality.
The body has a natural tendency to have both overactive muscles (top of the back, shoulders) and under-active muscles (core, neck flexors). It is imperative to ensure proper muscular strength and stability in injured regions in order to maintain the changes that are being made through spinal adjustments.
Exercises in the office focus on turning on, strengthening, and stabilizing the muscles in the injured area. Patients work through a program that increases the duration, repetition, and complexity of the exercises as they progress through their care. As their health improves, they are asked to constantly challenge the injured area through new and increasingly complex exercises both at home and in the office. This progression ensures that the muscles do not become habituated to the exercises and are therefore forced to constantly strengthen and improve.
Home exercise programs are given to patients to supplement what is done in the office and is utilized as another avenue to strengthen the weakened muscles between office visits. Most patients are given 5-10 minutes of exercises to do 2-3 times a week.
Rehabilitation goes beyond the office and home. Patients are encouraged to slowly return to their workout routines at the gym, as tolerated. Because our bodies were meant to move, Dr. Gabe believes that refraining from movement for longer than absolutely necessary can be counterproductive to the healing process.
For more information on the benefits of strengthening your muscles and rehabilitation, visit https://www.painscience.com/articles/strength-training.php