Chronic back and neck pain is extremely common among individuals in the United States, and while your spine doctor or pain management clinic can provide a number of treatment options, some patients require rehabilitation therapy to ensure their pain does not return.
Also known as the correction phase of pain management, rehabilitation therapy focuses on strengthening the soft tissues surrounding the joints, including the muscle, fascia and ligaments. Below are the five basic components of rehabilitation therapy:
Electrotherapy: There are several different types of electrotherapy, but they all work by delivering short bursts of electricity to specific nerves in your body, temporarily blocking the nerve impulses responsible for transmitting pain signals to your brain. In rehabilitation, electrotherapy can be used to alleviate neck and back pain, increase muscle strength and eliminate the symptoms of various musculoskeletal conditions.
Balanced Stretching: Unlike traditional stretching techniques, balanced stretching is performed using a special device designed to measure your body’s muscular function without contracting the opposite muscles.
Weighted / Unweighted Rehab: Weighted and unweighted therapy utilizes a small compressor and a fitted vest to lift a portion of your weight using pneumatic power. This not only allows your body to perform low-impact exercises safely but can also decrease discomfort during the rehabilitation process.
Traction: The most common type of traction used during rehabilitation is disc decompression therapy. During the decompression phase, the pressure in the disc is reduced and a vacuum-type effect is produced on the nucleus pulposus (the jelly-like substance in the middle of the spinal disc). At the same time, essential nutrients are diffused into the disc, promoting healing and minimizing inflammation.
Chiropractic Adjustments: Rehabilitation therapy often includes two forms of chiropractic adjustments. Computerized adjustments utilize state-of-the-art computer technology and a mobilization devices to measure the tissue stiffness of each spinal joint while performing painless adjustments. Traditional adjustments are gentle, manual manipulations of the joints performed by a chiropractic physician or spine doctor.
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