If you’ve ever received chiropractic care, you know that it’s not just about getting an adjustment and walking out the door. Many chiropractors incorporate corrective exercises into their treatment plans. These exercises can be an important part of the healing process, helping to strengthen and stabilize the body so that it can function at its best. These exercises are an integral part of treatment and are often done outside of your chiropractor’s office. In this way, chiropractic care is a collaboration. By understanding the importance of this collaboration, you can take an active role in your own healing and achieve the best possible results from chiropractic care.
What are corrective exercises?
Corrective exercises are exercises that are geared toward creating normal biomechanics. This could mean increasing or decreasing the muscle tone to make it how it should be, as well as providing some pain relief. These are exercises that, using knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics, address the compensations your body makes as a result of imbalances to improve the quality of your movement.
As such, they are things that a lot of different practitioners may recommend, depending on what’s being treated. Prescribing corrective exercises isn’t exclusive to chiropractic care. Personal trainers, physical therapists, and even massage therapists may incorporate corrective exercises into their treatment plans.
That’s why it may seem that corrective exercises are just a form of physical therapy (PT). They can be a part of the work you do with a physical therapist, but they are not the only part of a PT treatment plan (just as they aren’t the sole part of a chiropractic treatment plan). Additionally, physical therapy is utilized in ways that chiropractic may not be, and the reverse is true, too.
What can corrective exercise do?
These exercises can help to
- eliminate pain
- increase flexibility
- improve joint function and stability
- improve range of motion
- increase coordination
- decrease the risk of injury
Essentially, the exercises ensure that your musculoskeletal system is functioning optimally. Throughout the duration of your prescribed exercise plan, you’ll see all those benefits and improvements.
Some examples of these exercises include gentle stretches, balance training, and foam rolling.
Why aren’t adjustments enough?
Adjustments and corrective exercises work together as part of your treatment plan. You are not going to be seeing a provider, in their office, being treated every day. It’s just not possible. By doing the work of exercises at home, you’re helping to improve and build muscle memory and joint function between visits; you’re helping to train your body how to move and function correctly. This makes the time spent with the chiropractor more acutely effective for you. You can’t get adjusted at home; however, you can do work to make the effects of those adjustments longer lasting between visits. In this way, corrective exercises are very important.
Isn’t the adjustment supposed to do the work? Why am I working?
Think of corrective exercises as the glue to what’s done in your chiropractor’s office. Without the work outside of the clinic, you’re not gonna have as much progress in the clinic.
Essentially, the adjustment makes sure that all the bones are functioning properly where the exercises are supporting proper muscular function. That’s why they go hand in hand and why the exercises so clearly speed up recovery time.
The bottom line is that when I prescribe these exercises and see patients doing them, we see a lot more benefit, and a lot of improvement, a lot faster than those who don’t.
What to Expect From a Corrective Exercise Program
Every corrective exercise program is going to be a little different, just as every patient is a little different. That said, a corrective exercise program isn’t prescribed in a vacuum. Your chiropractor should always begin any treatment plan with a thorough evaluation.
Once an exercise plan has been developed by your chiropractor, expect it to be more aggressive at the outset, decreasing in frequency and intensity over time as your body improves. For example, you may be prescribed a set of exercises to be done in five or ten minutes a day every day at the start of treatment. Then, gradually, you might expect that to decrease to three or four times a week. Then, eventually, even that will taper off until you’ve completed the treatment plan and no longer need to do the exercises at all.
Additionally, your exercises should be accessible. These aren’t strenuous, over-the-top workouts; they are typically composed of gentle, repetitive movements. If you have any concerns about completing your plan, make sure you discuss that with your chiropractor. After all, treatment is a collaboration.
When is the best time to begin corrective exercises?
As soon as you realize there’s a problem. Corrective exercises are just that – they correct a problem. Once you notice something’s awry, reach out to schedule an appointment with your chiropractor. Once the problem’s been identified, you can start doing the exercises to eliminate that problem. The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner you’ll recover.
In short, by working with your chiropractor to identify imbalances and weaknesses in the body and taking an active role in your own care, you can achieve the best possible results from chiropractic treatment. Remember, chiropractic care is about more than just getting an adjustment. It’s about addressing the underlying causes of pain and dysfunction and working towards long-term health and well-being. By collaborating with your chiropractor and following through with your prescribed exercises, you can make the most of your chiropractic care and support your body’s natural ability to heal.
Begin Your Chiropractic Care Today
Are you ready to begin reaping the benefits of chiropractic care? At Smerglia Chiropractic, our holistic approach to health and wellness includes treatment for a wide range of ailments that utilizes effective, non-invasive therapies including corrective exercises. Reach out to learn more about how we can help you manage pain and discomfort today.