If you recently sustained a lower back injury, your doctor may have ordered several weeks of physical therapy to help get you moving again. If so, use the following tips to get the most out of your therapy sessions to help relieve your symptoms and help speed up your recovery time.
Commit to Performing Your Exercises at Home
While you are attending your physical therapy sessions, you will be performing various exercises to help loosen and strengthen your muscles. These exercises can help pull the muscles fibers that are in constant spasm, while helping to build them back up after being weakened by your injury.
However, your therapy does not stop at the end of each visit. Your therapist will give you printouts of the exercises to perform at home to help with the progression of your back's recovery. They may also ask you to take short walks in the beginning to help keep your back from tightening up, as they tend to do when you sit for too long.
While this homework is not necessary, it can help speed up your recovery process. If you want faster results from your therapy, commit to performing the exercises at home. Even if you can only do a few repetitions a couple times a day, you will find that you become stronger as time goes by.
If you find yourself having trouble making time for your therapy exercises, make a couple of appointments with yourself at times during the day when you feel you can commit. Then, commit to keeping the therapy appointments as if they were a business meeting or luncheon with a friend.
For example, if you feel you would have better success performing your exercises first thing in the morning before you get your day started, write the time down on your calendar. Or, if you are not a morning person, schedule a session when you first get home from work, and do it as soon as you walk through the door.
Combine Your Therapy With Chiropractic Care
Another way you can help improve your overall results from physical therapy is to combine your treatments with chiropractic care session. During one study, 73 percent of those surveyed reported some improvement in their lower back symptoms after receiving regular spinal adjustments.
When your lower back is injured, it can be thrown out of alignment. Even if your spinal column was not directly affected by the accident, your symptoms can affect the curvature of your spine.
Whenever you have tight muscles in your lower back, they can pull the vertebrae to one side or another, shifting them out of their natural alignment. This shift causes increased pressure on your spine and the adjacent muscles, making the latter tighten up even more and contributing to even more pain.
Also, when your lower back hurts, you may find it impossible to keep your posture straight. You may hunch over or lean to one side. After a few days of this improper posture, your vertebrae will become misaligned, while your muscles stiffen to compensate for your change in posture.
If you have chiropractic adjustments after your physical therapy sessions, your muscles are stretched enough by the exercises to make them more limber. Then, when the chiropractor manipulates your spine, the treatment can help pull it back into alignment and decrease the pressure placed on it.
Using the above tips can help you make the most out of your physical therapy. If you decide to combine your therapy with spinal adjustments, schedule a consultation with a chiropractor to find out how to make the two treatments work together to treat your lower back pain and help aid in the faster recovery from your injury.