the painful joints and muscles helps calm soreness, giving your spine time to
heal. If you are having pain with an activity or movement, it should be a signal
that there is still irritation going on. You should try to avoid all movements
and activities that increase the pain. In the early stages of your problem, the
doctor or therapist may have you wear a brace to limit
rest encourages safe movement of the joints and muscles on either side of a
painful area, while protecting the sore spot during the initial healing phase.
If a brace was prescribed, you may be instructed to take it off a few times each
day so you can do some gentle and controlled exercises.
therapist will work with you to find ways to position your spine for the
greatest comfort while sleeping or resting. You may receive advice on positions
that reduce stress on your spine while you are at
makes blood vessels vasoconstrict (get smaller), decreasing the blood flow. This
helps control inflammation, muscle spasm, and pain.
makes blood vessels vasodilate (get larger), increasing the blood flow. This
action helps flush away chemicals that cause pain. It also helps bring in
healing nutrients and oxygen.
can reach tissues that are over two inches below the surface of your skin. The
ultrasound machine directs high-frequency sound waves toward the sore area. As
the waves pass through the body's tissues, they vibrate molecules. The vibration
causes friction and warmth. The remaining sound waves are converted to heat in
the deeper tissues of the body. This heating effect helps flush the sore area
and brings in a new supply of blood that is rich in nutrients and oxygen.
stimulation is a gentle treatment used to stimulate nerves. The current passes
through pads applied on the skin. Some people say it feels like a massage on
their skin. Electrical stimulation can ease pain by sending impulses that are
felt instead of pain. Once the pain eases, muscles that are in spasm begin to
relax, letting you move and exercise with less discomfort.
are trained in many different forms of massage and mobilization. Massage has
been shown to calm pain and spasm by helping muscles relax, by bringing in a
fresh supply of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, and by flushing the area of
chemical irritants that come from inflammation. Soft tissue treatments can help
tight muscles relax, getting them back to a normal length. This will help you
begin to move with less pain and greater ease.
pressures and movements for joint mobilization may be performed by skilled
therapists. Gentle graded pressures help lubricate joint surfaces, easing
stiffness and helping you begin moving with less pain. As your pain eases, more
vigorous grades of mobilization may be used to lengthen tissues around the joint
in order to restore better movement in your spine.
joints and muscles often feel better when traction (pull) is used. Therapists
apply traction manually or with a traction machine. There are also traction
devices that can be issued to you for use at home. The amount of pull that is
used will depend on your condition. A gentle on/off pressure may be better early
on to help control arthritis pain. More vigorous traction can help take away
pain if a spinal joint is mildly sore or tight.
treatments and exercises can help maximize your physical abilities, including
flexibility, stabilization, coordination, and fitness
that increase flexibility help to reduce pain and make it easier to keep your
spine in a healthy position. Flexibility exercises are helpful for establishing
safe movement. Tight muscles cause imbalances in spinal movements. This can make
injury of these structures more likely. Gentle stretching increases flexibility,
eases pain, and reduces the chance of re-injury.
"core" muscles(abdomen,back gluteal muscles) you'll be working on are closer to
the center of the body and act as stabilizers. These key muscles are trained to
help you position your spine safely and to hold your spine steady as you perform
routine activities. These muscles form a stable platform letting you move your
limbs with precision. If the stabilizers aren't doing their job, your spine may
be overstressed with daily activities.
muscles need to be coordinated. As the strength of the spinal muscles increases,
it becomes important to train these muscles to work together. Learning any
physical activity takes practice. Muscles must be trained so that the physical
activity is under control. Spine muscles that are trained to control safe
movement help reduce the chance of re-injury.
overall fitness levels aids in recovery of spine problems. Fitness conditioning
involves safe forms of aerobic exercise. The term aerobic means "with oxygen."
When using oxygen as they work, muscles are better able to move continuously,
rather than in spurts.
has other benefits as well. Vigorous exercise can cause chemicals, called
endorphins, to be released into the blood. These chemical hormones act as
natural pain relievers in reducing your pain. Examples of aerobic exercise
on a treadmill
a cross country ski machine
a stair stepper
you decide you want some extra conditioning, always check with your doctor or
therapist before beginning a program on your own. It is important that you
choose an aerobic activity you enjoy. This will help you stick with
it-guaranteeing you the long-term benefits that come with a well-rounded fitness
use functional training when you need help doing specific activities with
greater ease and safety. Examples include posture, body mechanics, and
healthy posture keeps the spine in safe alignment, reducing strain on the joints
and soft tissues around your spine. The time and effort you take to use good
posture are vital to spine care, including prevention of future spine problems.
As you gain strength and control with your stabilization exercises, proper
posture and body alignment will be easier to remember and apply with all your
of body mechanics as putting safe posture into action. It's one thing to sit or
stand with good posture, it's another to keep safe posture as you actually move
with activity. You want to keep your body in its safest alignment as you go
about your daily tasks, such as
out of a chair
out the trash
clothes out of the dryer
body movement is especially important
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