It would seem that common sense would say if you are injured just lay still and rest. Now to a point, this is the case. Your body does need rest in order to bounce back and it certainly needs some tender loving care and understanding during this recovery phase.
Especially when it comes to neck and back injuries patients are very careful and sensitive. They experience pain in bursts and flares that are very sharp and painful. They can make you want to avoid movement altogether and worry about turning your head too far or bending to deeply. The problem is that when over time you avoid movements you may actually reduce your range of motion. With the reduction of motion often comes more pain, it creates a vicious circle. The less you move, the less you can move, the less it feels ok to move, the less you want to move and in turn, the less you can move!
This can lead to incredible frustration.
Take for example one of our long-term in office patients. Female age 43. She is in very good shape otherwise but had a car accident at age 23. At that time she experienced whiplash (sideways) due to this she has degeneration of the discs in her neck at C4 and C5 vertebrae. For many years she remained scared to really move her neck what she felt was “too much” because it “felt broken”. The need to adjust her was constant.
Though she would feel better after an adjustment she would find herself in pain and right back in the office a week or two later. Why is this?
The answer is two-fold – Lack of motion and lack of muscle.
The answer for her has been to begin doing strength/weight training along with regular adjustments here in the office. Under the supervised care of Dr. Jason Kaster, D.C. she has strengthened her entire body, neck and shoulder area included building muscle and stretching. Her reported pain level on an average daily basis has gone from an 8 to a 2 and some days a 0. She has gone from feeling broken to young and healthy again.
The old adage “If you don’t use it you lose it” rings true. By increasing muscle mass, adjustments hold better.
Exercise may feel awkward at first, go light and go slow. Only do as much as you can do, then rest and ice. But just keep going.
It won’t be long before you start to notice pain and stiffness diminish and flexibility as well as range of motion begin to return.
*If you have been in an accident please check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
If you are interested in getting yourself back on track to health and free of pain give the office of Dr. Jason Kaster, D.C. a call today. 239-332-2555.