By Professor Emeritus John Carlson, getback Director of Research
Acute and Chronic back and neck pain are prevalent conditions that significantly impact quality of life for many Australians. Back and neck pain can stem from a myriad of lifestyle, medical and physical factors.
Understandably, the priority for most people during an episode of back or neck pain is seeking relief.
The Foundation of Spinal Alignment
Hands-on physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments and other interventions can offer immediate relief by correcting misalignments in the spine and alleviating muscular spasms and pressure on nerves.
However, once the musculoskeletal system has been restored to proper function, sustained long-term relief often requires holistic and complementary approaches.
A most effective complementary strategy to prevent the recurrence of pain is targeted and graduated exercise. Strong and mobile muscles around the spine promote a more stable, resilient and adaptable musculoskeletal system to prevent the recurrence of misalignments.
Properly targeted mobility and strength programs also address muscular imbalances – a common contributor to spinal misalignments. When certain muscle groups are weaker or stronger than their counterparts, they can pull the spine out of alignment and cause pain to re-occur.
Programs that are personalised to the patient’s needs and areas of weakness can rectify any specific imbalances and create a more stable and harmonious musculoskeletal system.
A graduated exercise program that safely and progressively increases load is crucial to prevent over-exertion and setbacks. This is particularly important to create a sustainable pathway for patients recovering from spine-related issues.
Targeted Exercises for Specific Needs
Personalised mobility and strength programs based on measurable data are a cornerstone of getback’s approach to long-term back health.
An initial Physiotherapy consultation at getback includes a comprehensive assessment to understand your back or neck pain, lifestyle and specific goals.
getback™ measures the mobility and strength of your spinal muscles using devices specifically designed by Bio-mechanists and Exercise Scientists.
The devices precisely measure spinal muscle strength and activation patterns in order to identify imbalances and weaknesses that can lead to instability and uneven load distribution on the spine.
By measuring the strength and mobility of the spinal muscles, your getback physiotherapist can identify areas of weakness and devise a targeted treatment plan to enhance stability and reduce strain on spinal structures.
Psychological Benefits of Exercise
Chronic pain often takes a toll on mental health. As well as the physical benefits, graduated exercise programs have been shown to contribute significantly to mental well-being.
Unlike passive treatments that may offer temporary relief, regular strength and mobility training empowers patients to take an active and ongoing role in their health. Structured exercise also releases endorphins—natural mood lifters – that reinforce a more optimistic outlook and aid in the overall healing process.
Collaboration between GPs, hands-on physical therapists and cognitive movement therapists such as getback can ensure that mobility and strength programs align seamlessly with the patient’s short and long-term needs.
Targeted mobility and strength programs are an optimal long-term complementary treatment for sustained relief from back pain. An integrative approach empowers individuals to actively participate in their wellbeing and lays the groundwork for a lifetime of spinal health.