Many people who experience back and neck pain find significant relief through chiropractic treatment. Although a chiropractor uses various hands-on methods and equipment to address acute pain, they also recommend exercises and care practices that patients undertake at home.
Muscles naturally responsible for specific body movements will weaken when they cannot activate due to constrictions from spinal misalignments. Instead, other muscle groups step in to assist with movement. This compensatory backup activity leads to muscle overuse and symptoms, including:
- Pain and tenderness
A chiropractor will suggest various exercises that a patient can do at home to strengthen dormant muscles due to misalignments. These exercises also support in-office chiropractic adjustments to realign the spine by helping the appropriate muscles support the repositioning of the vertebrae to their correct positions. At the same time, chiropractors may advise patients to rest, ice and elevate body parts to relieve the discomfort of muscle overuse.
Range of Motion Exercises
Range of motion refers to the extent to which the joints can move in different directions. Improving the body’s capacity for movement is a critical goal of chiropractic treatment. Joints that have a wide range of motion are less likely to cause muscle strain. Exercises to improve the extent to which the joints and muscles can move also promote balance and help patients avoid falling. Performing home exercises slowly and gradually increasing their duration can increase the benefits of a chiropractor’s in-office adjustments.
Patients who experience chronic back or neck pain may have poor posture or practice unconscious habits that cause muscle strain. These include sitting in a slumped position, maintaining the same body position, and moving in ways that stress muscles and joints. Chiropractors can show patients how to move their bodies to avoid injuries, advise them about movement frequency, and recommend ways to maintain proper spinal alignment while resting and moving.
Nutrition is vital to musculoskeletal health. In addition, a proper balance of nutrients in the body is necessary for the optimum performance of all body systems. Chiropractors may advise patients to revise their diets to promote healing from various types of injuries and conditions. For example, increasing protein intake can help injured muscles heal faster. In addition, a high calcium diet can support weak bones that promote misalignments.
Effective chiropractic treatment requires active participation from patients through at-home care that includes exercises to achieve long-term benefits. Speak with a knowledgeable chiropractor to develop a home care plan to maintain your musculoskeletal health.