REHABILITATION

Without some form of rehabilitation, recovery from an injury or a long-standing spinal problem can take longer to achieve. Overlooking the importance of improved range of motion and muscle strengthening can result in a relapse, with your original health problem returning again and again. Chiropractic rehabilitation involves the restoration of proper joint function of the spine or extremities, and the strengthening of supporting muscles and soft tissues. This will usually involve specific spinal adjustments, combined with a program of stretching, resistance training, and exercises to improve muscle tone. Some patients receive a set of simple exercises or "maneuvers" they can do at home. Other types of injuries will require the use of specialized equipment to isolate and strengthen specific areas of the spine. Ask your chiropractic doctor for ways you can speed the healing process and strengthen the supporting soft tissues of your spine through appropriate rehabilitation.

Before beginning any exercise program, please consult with your doctor to be certain that you receive specific instructions on proper exercise for your state of health. Get a reasonable amount of exercise daily. This does not mean that you should immediately rush out to playa vigorous game of racquetball or tennis, or decide to run a marathon. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and can be done by almost every-body. There are other activities which provide some exercise such as "walking up those stairs" rather than using the elevator, "pushing" yourself away from the table before you eat that second helping. So are many forms of work or light household tasks.

Exercise is necessary for proper digestion and elimination. Exercise will keep your muscles toned, and promote better circulation, especially to the heart. Your doctor will outline a special program for you. Because exercise is esseritial to good health and to overcome certain muscular weaknesses, your doctor may prescribe specific exercises. These are a vital and important part of your therapy; do not forget them. Some exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles of your spine, so that spinal derangements (subluxations) may be minimized. If you neglect the exercises prescribed for you, you neglect an important part of your health regimen.

Health authorities are now questioning the wisdom and value of certain exercises. Therefore, it is wise to be certain that you are indeed performing the proper exercises for your particular needs. Do not do any exercise without consulting with your doctor first, and do only those exercises suggested. As your condition warrants, your doctor will suggest additional exercises to aid your rehabilitation. Lack of proper exercise causes the muscles of your body to become weak and deconditioned: A muscle not used for a short period of time will begin to lose tone and strength. Exercise will prevent this wasting or atrophy of muscle, as well as releasing the body's endorphins (those feel-good chemicals) that will put you in a positive and pleasurable state of mind.

Research has shown that moderate exercise at least three times a week can increase your life span by at least two and one half years. Aerobic exercise is important and a program tailored to your weight, age and physical condition should be designed. Scheduling a regular time for your workout can have surprising effects. People who exercise in the morning seem to be the most consistent. Exercising before the evening meal has the greatest benefit if weight loss is desired. The most . important consideration is working the program into your schedule so that it becomes an important and pleasurable part of your daily routine. No matter when or how you exercise, be certain to discuss the kind of exercise and how you should approach exercising with your doctor. Exercise and physical fitness are extremely important.