April Newsletter: How Therapeutic Exercises Can Help You Heal

Woman does her therapeutic exercises.

How Therapeutic Exercises Help You Heal

Wondering if you really need to do the exercises your chiropractor recommends? Therapeutic exercises are an important part of your treatment plan and help enhance chiropractic care.

The Benefits of Therapeutic Exercises

Getting better as quickly as you can may be your goal, but healing will take longer if you don't stretch and strengthen your muscles. Therapeutic exercises can help you:

  • Improve Treatment Effectiveness. Adding therapeutic exercises to your chiropractic treatment plan can make the treatment your chiropractor uses more helpful and speed healing.
  • Relieve Pain Naturally. Chiropractic care relieves pain in your joints, muscles, and soft tissues without medication. Spinal manipulation, massage therapy, soft tissue mobilization, and other treatments increase your body's production of hormones that relieve pain. The exercises you perform at home also trigger your body's natural pain relief process and help keep aches and pains under control while you heal.
  • Increase Circulation. White blood cells and nutrients circulate in your blood and help your body repair itself. Unfortunately, blood flow can be restricted if you have a subluxation or injury. Poor blood flow slows the flow of nutrients to injured areas and can be a factor in slow healing. Chiropractic treatments improve blood flow, giving your tissues the help they need to heal.
  • Decrease Inflammation. Therapeutic exercise may also decrease inflammation, a key factor in pain and stiffness. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers noted that moderate exercise decreased inflammation and healing time in an experiment conducted with mice.
  • Become More Flexible. After an injury, tension in muscles and soft tissues often increases, particularly if you can't move a joint normally due to pain or stiffness. Your chiropractor may use spinal or joint manipulation combined with soft tissue mobilization or manipulation to improve your range of motion and flexibility. Performing therapeutic exercises at home will enhance those treatments and gently stretch tight tissues. When combined with chiropractic care, these exercises help you regain flexibility and range of motion more quickly.
  • Strengthen Your Muscles. Muscles become weaker when you don't use them. Unfortunately, injuries can affect your ability to move your muscles or may make movements painful. After days or weeks of reduced movement, your muscles may start to weaken. Performing the exercises your chiropractor recommends helps you safely improve muscle strength. Stronger muscles provide the support your joints need and help you avoid new injuries or subluxations.
  • Improve Balance. Balance issues can occur whether your condition was caused by an injury, condition, poor posture, or another cause. Tight or strained muscles can pull on the vertebrae in your spine, causing a misalignment called a subluxation. If you favor one side of your body, muscles on that side may become too strong, while others become too weak. This imbalance can lead to pain, strains, sprains, and falls. Exercises restore your body's natural balance when combined with spinal manipulation and other chiropractic treatments.

The therapeutic exercises your chiropractor suggests will depend on your diagnosis.

If you have low back pain, your chiropractor may recommend exercises that stabilize the back, strengthen your core, decrease pain, and improve your posture. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy evaluated the effects of spinal stabilization exercises versus general exercises for participants with low back pain. After performing planks, side planks, abdominal bracing exercises, and other exercises for eight weeks, the spinal stabilization group reported a significant improvement in functional movement over the general exercise group. Both groups also noticed improvements in pain intensity and disability level.

Therapeutic exercises offer an excellent way to make the most of your chiropractic treatment. Ready to make your next appointment? Give us a call to schedule your visit.

Sources:

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: Exercise May Play Role in Reducing Inflammation in Damage Skin Tissue, 11/08/2007

https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/206467

International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy: Effectiveness of Spinal Stabilization Exercises on Movement Performance in Adults with Chronic Low Back Pain, 2/1/2023

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9897033/

SPINE-health: Exercise and Chiropractic Therapy, 3/14/2013

https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/exercise-and-chiropractic-therapy

Healthline: What Are Lumbar Stabilization Exercises?, 6/21/2018

https://www.healthline.com/health/lumbar-stabilization-exercises

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