What is physical therapy?

Many have done some version physical therapy in the past and it can include a lot of different treatments. Some are more passive where the treatment is done to the patient and others are active where the patient is doing the work. Some examples of passive treatment that are common for the neck and back included traction, UltraSound, massage, and chiropractic adjustments. Examples of active treatments include stretching, strengthening, stabilization exercises, Muscle Energy Techniques, etc. Because there are many causes for neck and back pain, some of these treatments work very well for one person, but do not help at all for another person.

What makes physical therapy at Specialized Spine Care different from traditional physical therapy?

This program is considered a more aggressive version of traditional physical therapy and this is because we focus on strengthening the spinal musculature and the supporting muscles of the spine. We use very few passive treatments because those treatments do not fix the cause of neck and back pain typically. They may help to decrease pain, but they often provide only short-term relief. You will be instructed stretches and motion exercises to do on your 1st day with the goal to do them every day, but the ultimate goal in the clinic is to strengthen the spinal muscles. We also want to teach you how to maintain your strength on your own once you are strong enough to do so. The strengthening exercises for the spine are done using MedX machines, which were created by the same group that created Nautilus. Most strengthening and stabilization exercises given at other physical therapy clinics do not isolate the appropriate spinal muscles well enough to prevent compensation of surrounding muscles. This prevents effective strengthening of the intended muscles. The MedX machines, however, have extra components to prevent this compensation from occurring and this makes these exercises much more effective. Nautilus machines, therapy bands, and/or exercises using an exercise ball will also be incorporated into the routine to strengthen the surrounding musculature since many have to decrease their activity level or modify how they do activities when there is pain. This also often causes a loss of strength in those supporting muscles, which means they also must be rebuilt. As with any strengthening or workout routine, there will be increased muscle soreness after doing these exercises and this is expected. However, as your strength improves and starts to get back to the level it was prior to having pain, your pain should decrease.

Contact Us